If anyone were to ask me how much of us I remember, I would say I remember everything. And I really do. Now I can’t recall where I went last weekend or what I ate for breakfast two mornings ago, but I do remember the first words you spoke to me, and the way you gently held my hand for the first time. I remember the angry verbal exchanges that lasted from sunset to sunrise, and I remember how hard I wept until my eyes were too swollen and too dry to cry anymore. I also remember how excited we were to see the first sign of Spring, and how calm my heart felt when we laid underneath the summer warmth. That summer will always be ours.
I remember the night you took me to the top of the world and how silly we both felt for not bringing a blanket to keep warm. So we held each other instead, and you told me how this used to be one of your favorite spots in the city. It was there that you first kissed me, and it was also there when I realized I would fall in love with you. But I never anticipated just how much and for how long. We walked down the street and you showed me your old house, and told me the story of how you hurt your ankle from jumping off the balcony when you were younger, because your sister had locked you out. We only went there together one time again after that night, but I’m sure I could find my way there just like how my heart always found its way back to you.
You loved taking me on long drives, just so you can feel my hand beneath yours when you shifted gears. And you loved bringing me to new places and showing me new things. I was barely 17 when I met you, and you opened my eyes to all the marvels in the world. I remember the walks we took around your neighborhood, and we would point out what we liked and disliked about each of the houses we saw. It turned out we both wanted the same things.
I remember the gleam in your eyes and the excitement in your voice whenever you would tell me about your photo adventures or a new technique you acquired. Your knowledge was equally as contagious as your passion, and through you, I began to see the world in a different perspective. You pointed out the birds that flew mindlessly with freedom, the orange and red that set the sun on fire, and the stars in the infinite galaxy. It was always the simple things that made you happiest.
I also remember the little and unimportant things, and even if in the grand scheme of things, they play no significance, I still remember. I know your favorite color is green. I remember how much you loved Funfetti cupcakes and Rocky Road ice cream from Thrifty’s. And how you would only use a certain type of soap because it reminded you of your father. I remember the precise way you liked your shirts folded and your socks sorted. Or how you liked your eggs cooked and your rice molded into an upside down bowl shape. And sometimes I wonder if all these things I remember still hold true.
I remember the night when we almost took it too far, but we stopped ourselves, because it meant more to us to take the time to feed the fire in our hearts than to yield to our weaknesses. And when the time came, and the candles were lit and the Best of Boyz II Men were playing, we stripped ourselves naked of all insecurities and inhibitions to let each other in. That night, we held each other in the darkness and the tears began to fall from my eyes. I finally felt what it was like to be vulnerable and safe at the same time. I loved you, and in that moment I thought I could have loved you forever. And well, sometimes, I still do.