By the time you knew love, The Rent-A-CD shop had become a branch of state government, demolished, like the rest of your city, in a summer that stretched into nearly a decade of detours.
Light peeks through the stain glass window in front of our small crawl-space attic, creating rainbows on the walls in our living room. I stand at the front door overlooking the sunlit street that leads to our home, coffee steaming in hand. It was our routine, every time we stayed in this little beach house a block from the water, to watch the sunrise together.
It isn’t much, our little get-away. Family obligations never allowed us to travel to the exotic places on our bucket list. It was always in the plans for next season or next year or the next decade when things would finally settle down. But, I guess that’s the funny thing about life, things never settle down.
Through it all though, we always had this place, our place, our home. Away from the prejudice and the preachers. Away from those who saw our relationship as wrong. Just you, me, and the beach with water as far as the eye could see. Though our hideaway soon became overrun with toys and bottles, dog beds and dog hair, it was always ours. Always the place we would run to when life got too tough.
We had our first argument, real argument, on the road leading to this house. You threw the ring in my lap and I remember thinking, “This is it, we are done.”
This was where we made our vows to each other, because at the time we weren’t allowed to make them through official channels. Not that it mattered to us. Our love was the kind of love people dream about. The kind of love that was written a long time ago, because together was where I found me and you found you.
Life happened fast, always when we were busy making plans, and death waits for no one and holds everyone prisoner. You were always my light. You would look at the worst situation and think of the craziest things that could have happened instead. Helping me laugh through all of the hardships we faced. I don’t know who I would be today without you.
Eventually toys and bottles changed to laptops and clothes. Somehow our dog beds doubled until there were two, then three, then two again. In time, this small beach house became our hideaway again, without the chaos of responsibility.
It was in this spot three months ago when my world turned on its axis. I remember standing at this window with you holding me from behind looking at the morning sky together, thinking that if we could just freeze time or rewind it, maybe something would change. When you told me, you didn’t use words, you didn’t have to. The way you held me said it all. We broke down silently together that day and promised each other, in our silent way, not to break down again.
They took it hard when we told them. Even though they had their own tiny responsibilities now, we were still their rock, and losing an integral piece of one's self is a hard process.
The rainbows are gone now, light covered by a cloud not allowing it to shine through. The coffee is cold and I am ready. This is the first and the last time I will stand at our spot alone. I open the door to the morning air bringing in the brisk feeling of fall. Waves crash in the distance. The tide of a new day.