We are escaping the heat, lounging on leather easy chairs or walking sweaty down sidewalks or sharing gossip over coffees. It doesn’t matter where we are, the question is always the same.
“What happens if you fall madly, deeply, crazy in love over there?”
I always smile at the idea. They want to know if I’m coming back. They want to know that my plans are unshakable. They aren’t and I tell them so.
“I don’t know. I just don’t know. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”
We spend the days like we always do. I let them pretend I’m not going anywhere, that this is where I belong, that we have all the time in the world. We don’t. The clock is ticking down and I am already planning what to pack. I am already visualizing outfits that I will wear on the plane. That I will remember that first kiss in. Nothing tainted by other memories. Something fresh and new. Maybe something I bought in Europe.
The days are getting hotter. This summer is hanging on for all it’s worth. This summer is going out with a bang. I like to think it’s wishing me well. Sending me off with unrestrained smiles and waves. I’ll be back, I tell them. Only half-believing it myself.
Popsicles and movie marathons. Late night walks and sleepovers. Her legs kicking mine on top of covers. BBQs and beaches and bottles of wine. The stories we tell each other over and over and over again. I want to yell it, scream it, clutch the words to my chest and refuse to let go: I love you I love you I love you. I love you both.
I tell them to visit. They say that they’ll try. They begin to make plans without me. Bands to see in September and movies that are coming out before Christmas. Autumn weighs on my heart and I wonder how other people choose; what exactly tips the scales for them and what will end up tipping the balance for me.
I am nervous and impatient waiting for the leaves to change. Waiting to see how the Pacific Northwest measures up. Waiting to see the place I’ll click my heels for and call home.
Ra Ra Riot – Each Year