This is the very first love story I have ever written.
Remember when we were young? We thought we were so old. Do you think that we would think how we are now is young in later years? Remember how we used to feel? We must have worn our own, invisible path in the sand, we walked there so much. Remember our beach? With the old man who was always there, just staring? Remember that one time with the wind? It was so much fun trying to catch the flying papers before they were lost to the wind, and the world. I’m glad you thought of that game. You always have been so clever. Remember when we spent three nights on that confounded puzzle? Do you still think it was worth it? I think I finally realize why it was so worthwhile.
When I think of us, I always have to spend thought on the year you and I never spoke. I was so impressed by you! I just couldn’t think I was even good enough for someone you could chat with, not even friend. I was convinced that, even though we were so often near each other, that you had never seen me. If fate was a person I wanted to thank it. We were always thrust nearly together. I got to admire you all I wanted, and that was all I wanted. I am so glad you told me how you felt too after we became friends. Remember? You told me that you always were sure to pick a seat right near me so you could you the way I moved, and I told you that were it any other person, I would be disturbed to know that. Did I ever thank you for dropping your book? When I returned it to you, we finally spoke for the first time ever. Do you remember how after that, we chatted for at least an hour until I realized that you had made me late?
Remember that time under the pink cherry blossoms? You said you loved me until death parted us, and far, far beyond. Even as I said the same things back to you, I couldn’t believe it was all true until you slipped the tiny circle onto my finger. Remember how it was like the world was smiling in complete silence for just a moment and then we were together? Remember how we invited the old man and, afterwards, he shook our hands and told us those wonderful words? To think, all that time, our private joke was such a wise person. Remember how we laughed about it later? Remember how you whispered that the whole world was perfect that night as we laid on the blanket and just stared at the stars? It was perfect. Having only each other is perfect.
Remember our first sadness? How you held me when I couldn’t stand? How we held hands, just sitting together and staring at nothing the entire first night? How, when the light slithered into the room, we just wrapped our arms around each other and finally cried? I couldn’t stand that light, it meant so much and too much bad. Remember how we shut ourselves away? We only needed each other to get through it. We did get through it too. Remember how you and I first watched a sunrise without weeping? We promised each other that it was possible to remember and move on, and that we would. You told me what it was like to hold her in your arms. Remember telling me sorry over and over? You wished that I had been the one to hold her while she was still alive those last few seconds. Remember that it was my turn to hold you when you couldn’t stand? I am so glad we have each other.
Remember the trip we took? You called it our trip to magic land. Truth be told, I think any place we go is magic. Do you remember the time I decided that you needed to act your age? You decided that it meant carving a cane and dyeing your hair white. I took you in my arms and told you that you weren’t allowed to be old until we were old together. Remember how we sat under the sky in the middle of the night and talked of nothing? That tiny moment, when you just stopped, mid-word, and smiled at me? I asked what on earth was so funny and you leaned forward, and whispered in my ear that you always find yourself sitting in the middle of the night, talking to me, looking at the sky, and loving me. Remember how it was? I smiled and kissed your cheek. Then we just kept talking for another few hours. Remember how the next night the people in the room next to ours began to play dance music at an unearthly hour? Instead of complaining, like I wanted to do, you slipped out of bed and asked me to dance. Remember what it was like to swirl around the room in the place we always dreamed of going in the middle of the dark night?
Remember when I came to your work to bring you a lunch? We cooked up the scheme together and we thought it was so funny. Even after all the joking and fun we had there, my favorite part was realizing, as I left, that you seemed proud to tell your co-workers that I was yours. Remember the time we snuck out of that stuffy room full of old ladies, quilting and tried to climb a hill? We promised that we would have to go to the gym or run more. We said that when we could climb that hill, we would have a picnic to celebrate our goal. Remember the early mornings? Tickling my ear with promises of how fun it would be to be outside in the horrid weather? It didn’t matter to you what the world was doing outside, you always called the weather horrid. Remember the picnic on the hill? Once we got to trying, it was easy to climb it. I remember saying how very nearly we were to getting old before our time and that the hill saved us. Remember how you laughed and said we would have to continue running then. You always have had such an intriguing laugh.
Remember that moment when we stood in front of a mirror together and you smiled really big? I saw it too. It was the moment we realized we were old. It was so wonderful to realize it together. Remember the hug? It was like every day we had spent together all in one hug. We laid our white heads together and watched ants crawl over bread the little neighbor boy had thrown into our yard. Remember what it was like to hide my cane? I always have found a way to return the favor. Remember how, when you did it at the center, I announced it was your centennial? You couldn’t stay mad at me for trying.
Remember watching flowers bloom in our yard over and over again? The tears we shared together? Counting to one million together just to prove we could do anything together if we wanted? Remember our first home and how you said we would just have to make friends with the mice? Remember inviting little children over and pretending we never lost? Remember counting stars? Blowing bubbles? Marking fifty years of love? Remember saying that you love me?
We have spent so many years together. I can’t believe there would be love in the world for either of us, if we hadn’t known each other. I love you. I will say it an infinite number of times and it will never be truer than this moment right now. Every single definition of love I can ever think of applies. I love you. I once saw a mother point to us when she thought we weren’t looking and tell her child that they were looking at a picture of what love is. It has been so perfect living with you. Thank you for dropping your book and starting this. I understand that it is time for you to go. I don’t think I have much time left in me either. I have never been through pain without you. But I feel my time ticking down too. It won’t be long until we are together again. I love you, here is one last kiss on the cheek. Goodbye.