I remember lying in bed with you, longing for a deeper connection. You would always sleep with your back to me, in an almost fetal position, as if you were physically guarding your heart. All I wanted was to touch those scars that ran down the center of your chest, but you told me you were not okay with someone else's heart beating within you so I let it be. The look in your eyes when you woke up in the morning; the sleepy surrealness of a dream playing at the corner of your lips, and the early morning light goldenly surrounding your messy hair like a halo was enough to quench any thirst I had for you. It was enough to resonate in me for a long while, and I saw through your eyes, at least I believe I did, for a split second.
I remember how much you loved to drink and make sweet tea. You always told me that the more you add to a recipe the more love it would reflect. You would always warn to only add equal amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg because it was vital that one not overpower the other. When you first told me this, I realized you were referring to us in the bedroom, and I assumed that I was the nutmeg. You didn't like parsley, but you said it added a beautiful contrast to chamomile and honey and that sometimes we had to do things we didn't like. The tea represented life you said before you suddenly grew quiet. You were always so self-conscious about rambling, and I was always reassuring you that I loved to hear you talk. I always assured you that every word that exited your mouth was like the perfect touch of peppermint you added to the tea. The pink of your lips pressed up against the stark white and vivid red of the peppermint candy before you crushed it to put into the tea always sent electric jolts through my body, and only recently did I figure out it was because I loved you.
I remember that time you dropped a glass of hot tea on your feet in the kitchen. I was absolutely surprised at your grace; I had never seen anything so terribly serene, a theatrical performance of accident and beauty. I told myself I would never forget that and I never did. You burned your feet somewhat, and you let me tend to them in the living room on the brown leather couch. I was surprised, because you told me that you hated when people touch your feet, and here I was, not knowing what I was doing, putting ice on them and then before I knew it, the space of foot between your toes and your heels was up to my lips and you knew my deepest darkest secret. I was okay with it. You were okay with it. And here, we had reached a place in the universe where only we mattered. From that day forward, whenever I heard the sound of breaking glass I froze and was brought back into this wonderful place in the universe.
I remember when you left me. You didn't leave before you let me touch the scar along your chest. As I ran my finger along the ridges of skin you told me how traumatizing heart surgery is, and I listened and touched and understood, and I held you because I knew that once you had stopped speaking, you needed to be held. This was, and still is, the best moment of my entire life. That night I knew, we lived for each other. The fact that you left me does not contradict this. What was done was done and it happened for a reason and I still cherish every second of it. I am not upset that you left. You came in and you did your job; you showed me love, and forgiveness, and humility, and finally you showed me sorrow and how terrible life can be if not only to maintain a cosmic balance. Because really, if you had not been the way you were when you left, I may have killed myself out of curiosity. Of course, at the time I did not understand this. I thought you simply took all of your things and left me in a barren world with no solace but as time went on and I started to remember the past, I realized that this was not the case. You left me physically, but you also left behind very genuine emotions and vivid velvet love that I still feel today. As I grow older, I learn to appreciate this wonderful thing, this beautiful parting gift. Sometimes I hope to wake up, and have this all be a dream and I still have you here to spill hot tea so that I can laugh and say "Everything's okay, Hana!". However, most of the time, I realize I have something better than a dream, or a wish, or a hope, or even a prayer.
I realize I have the memories.