I remember your smile. It was a process: closed lips, corners slowly opening up like the turning of the sun upon rose petals, opposing currents meeting, creating a maelstrom that spun me round and round until I was left gasping for air.
The night I met you, I think I knew that it would always play out this way: you would leave, just like everyone else had in my life. But I stopped for you anyways. Maybe, it was because for once, I had allowed myself to hope. Maybe, it was because for once, I just wanted to be a good person.
Damaged, we met. Damaged, we lived.
You were gone by the end of November, carried off by the departing fall breeze. The loft felt empty without you, the post-autumn season outside my window so lethargic and lifeless, akin to the dreary crunch of fallen leaves underneath my boots.
Sometimes I wondered what your life was like now. You had left your yellow umbrella with me. Sometimes I thought about what would happen when winter came, what you would do
if it rained.
Sophia Li is a writer from Houston, Texas.