And We Fell
I remember the first time I knew I loved you. That’s crazy, right? One arguably insignificant moment that occurred ten years ago… I still remember. I always will. You’d just gotten out of class and, as always, rushed to meet me at your house. We claimed that oak tree in your parents’ garden as our own. We sat underneath it, your warm hands clutching my cold ones. You’d come out to your parents the week before, so we could finally show our affection with no shame of being seen. I remember the smell of your coconut shampoo, the taste of your post-school mango smoothie, the way your eyes shone in the light of the setting sun, the sound of your breath catching when you realised that I was going to kiss you. And just like the leaves on the oak tree, we fell.
And I fell every time I saw you. At our wedding, during the holidays, after we had our first child, even in every argument we had, I fell. I fell until I broke away and gave you all of the pieces.
Now, I watch you as you pack the last of your things. You leave the pumpkin we carved earlier with our son on the kitchen table. I waited to see if you’d remember it or even glance at it, but you didn’t. You don’t make eye contact with me as you brush past with a box in your hands.
“Jenny.” I start.
“Alissa, stop.” Your voice quivers and I stop. We fall a little bit more.
I couldn’t stop for much longer, and that was one of the things you hated about me. I just didn’t know when to stop.
“What about Isaiah?” I say.
Your eyes soften at the sound of our son’s name. “You heard what the lawyers said. I go. You stay.”
“But what if you didn’t? What if you kept on loving me? What if we fall again?”
“We are falling, Lissy.”
And just like the autumn leaves, we fell, only this time, instead of falling in love, we fell apart.