She was the only girl you ever loved. She was the girl who tossed her hair and threw her head back and mesmerized you with her laugh like golden daffodils blooming in the spring. She was the girl with the sunset eyes, who danced along the shore with you, who touched a part of your heart you did not know could ever exist. She was the girl who you chased after like a shimmering rainbow, even though the only thing she needed was freedom from your clutches.
She warned you not to fall in love with her.
Over and over, through the dark, sleepless nights when she realized mistakes she could never fathom in the harsh light of morning. When you crushed your lips to hers she pulled away because she knew, even then, how it would end. She whispered it into your ear and her voice begged you in its raw, desperate longing to be heard. She never fell in love with you; instead, you pulled her into your love and made her believe it was real. And yet, before that… before she was living in a beautiful lie she never knew existed… she told you. She told you how wrong it was, didn’t she?
Do you remember?
She remembers too well, the girl you loved and lost. She was a wandering dreamer, a wild stallion, a drifting cloud. She was so different from you, and you tried to catch her shimmering magic and clutch it to yourself. You tried to keep her beauty in the four walls that were your heart, when all she needed was to fly away on the wind, far, far away from your insatiable grasp. All she had was her freedom, and you took it away from her, didn’t you?
Do you remember?
Drown your sorrows in alcohol, darling boy, and for now, you may dream her name away. Savour the hours in the grey light of a new dawn when the only thing you can remember is how to retch over the toilet. Cling to the precious moments when her face does not dance in your memories, when her eyes do not call to you from far away. You believe she is taunting you, darling boy, with her song of hope and liberty. You believe she is a pristine rose with thorns that caught and dragged deep in your heart. You believe it was her fault all along, don’t you? Don’t you?
So when you cannot bring yourself to tear the photographs, comfort yourself with the knowledge that somewhere out there she is sobbing in heartbroken anguish and gazing at the same photographs with naïve longing. But sooner or later, you must open your eyes to a truth she has yet to discover. For it was not she who tried to catch the singing wind. It was not she who tried to rein in the glistening stars. It wasn’t, was it?
It was you.