You Asked Me Once About Great Love, an Absence, an Edge

mittens in snow
Photo by Hoyoun Lee on Unsplash

I had gut-prickling momentum to tell my crush, at fourteen, the truth perspiring in my own head, so I hand wrote him a letter, torn from my journal to look casual but actually it was a rewrite and I kept the first draft. I gave him this note because writing was clearer than the stutter stuck between my lips, but all he gave me was a sheepish, passive rejection directed at the roll-on glitter on my cheek before a math test. I apologized for the letter while looking him dead in the eyes and got a 68% on the test. Another year passed before my feelings faded, in which time I vowed to never tell anyone ever again how I felt, instead started dating people I had smaller feelings for, for a long time, instead of experiencing someone I loved and who loved me.

He walks next to me after leaving our high school reunion ten years after graduation as it flurries outside, the same as when we were fourteen at our friend’s birthday party, the group deciding to smoke on a snowy cliff the weed they got from someone’s older brother, rolling one single joint on a rock, gloves on, while the two of us chicken, stood away from the mob, the tremble of my frozen fingers longing for him to just hold my hand, nothing more; now fourteen years later, through condensed breath, at the precipice of his mouth—

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