The Seasons

The winter reminded her of the way he held her close. The smell of the fireplace in her neighbor’s chimney, the pine trees, and evergreens and gently falling snow glowing orange under the street light. Heating was expensive, so they used blankets instead. Blankets and each other. She learned what made him the person that he is. All his flaws and quirks, everything he hated and all the things he enjoyed. That winter she fell in love.

The spring was strange, surreal almost. The flowers weren’t the only thing that grew during the breezy days. She had never known a love to be so full and warm. Yes, she had been with people before, but not like this. Never had someone been so open and caring and supportive. She could truly be herself with him. While the flowers bloomed, she did too. She could run around the yard knowing that, instead of calling her childish, he would join to see her smile. Knowing this kept her going.

The summer was difficult. As the trees aged, so did they. No longer was everything fresh and new. Responsibility weighed on them like the humidity of the hottest day. The fights stung like sweat in their eyes. But they talked, solved, problems, and wiped the sweat away. Just like the sun, they stayed strong. But, looking back, the time it took for fall to come was short. And in the fall everything started to die.

The problems were small at first. She hardly noticed them, dismissing it the way you ignore the shortening of the days. But things got cold, and they couldn’t be ignored. They tried to find help. They went to professionals, tried everything that was recommended, but it didn’t help any more than a cup of warm water could help the frosting grass. She tried to deny it, to hope for the best, but it all ended when she saw the blood, as deep and red as the fallen leaves.

And now it was winter again. It was cold, but no blankets. Snow, but no glow.  Part of her hated him. Why did he have to be so perfect for her, completing her thoughts and filling her holes? Why did she have to fall in love? But as she knelt at his grave, she knew she could never truly be mad at him. There was no way to prevent the diseases from spreading, as surely as the wet now soaked through her jeans. And she smelled the fireplaces and imagined his warmth, and knew her love for him would last through the seasons.


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