The day is bright and fairly new. Reddish-brown and orange leaves whisk past my feet. The crisp wind kisses my face, leaving the slightest tingle across my upper lip that I try to ignore until I can’t help but to flick it with the cap of my purple Bic. I am sitting on a wooden bench across the street, writing in my “RED” journal; a gift from you. This is my first and may very well be my last entry between these two novel hardcovers. Today, I write because I am still sad. Today, I write because I still miss you. Missing you to the point of stupid silliness, like a little boy who just had his favorite new teddy bear stolen from him for a reason he doesn’t fully comprehend. And, here we are, me and my inner child, stubborn and starry-eyed, wishing for you to walk out your door and run into my open arms and kiss me… kiss me hard and passionately until I can’t breathe. I glance up from my written pages too often in hopes I may catch a glimpse of you. I stare at your living room window and wonder if you are home…if you are alone. Perhaps you are still asleep or laying on your couch reading, and in that case, maybe you will serendipitously sit up to take a peek of the day that lies ahead, and as you pull back the curtain, you see my face across the street… and you smile. I too often reminisce about our time together. You were my first Bed and Breakfast, my first whitewater rafting trip, my first winery, my first escapade, and the first burst of butterflies that I’ve felt in a very long time. You were the first kiss I have ever had on a first date. I think about the places where we shared something special just by locking eyes, and how I relished in your expression of devotion and passion. I believed in your sentiments and the moments in which I felt I was finally connecting to something organic and unique, something meant for me and we. I constantly replay the memories of us tightly holding hands and intertwined, laying in bed, stripped, raw, and vulnerable, daydreaming about our present and our future, making love… and then I stop. Because, the deeper I go, the more difficult it is for me to bring myself back to stable ground. I’ve been here before, and yet, it feels different… even the words on this page don’t sound the same, but I’m beginning to remember the meanings all too well. Although fading, I still bare your marks on my back, and recall feeling slightly bitter because I had this unsettling fear that your scars of sexual rapture could quite possibly stay with me longer than you. I scoff at how pubescent I would sound if I was to verbalize out loud to this small town how I feel so heart-broken and confused over a summer love that bloomed beautifully and then wilted as soon as the season began to change. Things did Fall apart. No matter how many times I could say “but he said he loved me,” and “he said he hasn’t felt this way in such a long time,” I can clearly visualize the town’s folk abruptly stopping in their tracks to turn to me, and all point and heckle like a pack of decrepit sadistic witches. They must think I’m immature and weak. I am under a spell, and I don’t care to turn to the light and face the sun behind me. Why do we punish ourselves? Why isn’t our self-love enough to keep us warm and happy? Why is this feeling of loneliness so intense? Even on this bench I have started to become cold and disoriented just by the constant thinking of the loss of your touch. It’s like an addiction. I now understand how love can be an obsession, a drug so powerful and uplifting, and within a flash could be your downfall, abandoned and left alone in a sea of tears, drifting. It was our sweet something that I was gladly settling into, and now that it’s gone (now that you are gone), I have become pathetic. And, within that vulnerability, pity, and sadness, lies your gift to me that now ignites a stream of tears that run down my face and onto this written journal page. I know what I am supposed to do, but I want to enjoy this remembrance of you for a little while longer. I am unfolding and I am becoming. I am breaking and I am creating. I am evolving and I am shifting. I have been snatched and I have been thrown. I have stood strong and I have been shaken. I am drowning and I am resuscitating. I am clawing into this wound and spilling out the poison. If I was to see you right at this very moment, I don’t know what I would do, and even more uncertain of what you would do. I am optimistic. I am faithful. I am loving. I am honest. I am scared. I am thinking of nothing but you, and have no idea if I am even a fraction of a random thought that crosses your mind when the day is the most silent. I am sad. I have lost. I am naked and still holding onto broken words and phantom kisses. I am that wistful little boy on the telephone pleading for you to return. I am that weeping heartsick lover, holding two bouquets of roses and a love letter, wanting to surprise you, wanting to fight for you, and you are not even home. I am that geek across the street stuck in between these sorrowful hand written pages that look more and more like a riddle with each added confession. I am awake. I am breathing. I am in between. And, as soon as I finish this last sentence, I am concluding this entry to write about something else… something that makes me smile.