It’s not because I’m a private person.
Or because I like to be alone.
All of our happy moments happened here, our feet dangling in the water as the sun warmed our back. My fingers would dig into the soil, shifting through the centuries old dirt, finding new treasures. Smooth, rough, round, lumpy, plain, colored. They were all beautiful rocks and I kept them in the box Joe gave me.
He kissed me here, too. Our first kiss ever, and whenever I close my eyes, I can feel his lisps brushing across mine, my heart pitter-pattering. It was the feeling of freedom, that I could do anything, when he kissed me.
I can still smell summer, freshly mowed grass and barbecue smoke rising from the condo complex across the river. The warmth from the sun disappearing and the water tickling my numb feet as it turned colder, night growing near.
His touch on my lower back, each finger making my stomach do somersaults. He’d rub my back and my stomach would flip flop again and again. Then his hand would rest on my legs, and I would suddenly notice the little prickly hairs from not shaving.
Those summer nights were perfect. We would sit on the bank, toes dipping into the water and our lips moving together. Each touch brought us closer.
When I open my eyes, all I see is snow; dirty snow on the ground, silent snow falling from the sky. Everywhere is snow.
Everything warm I remember is gone: his touch, his love, the sun, the laughter. Happiness is replaced with sadness.
When summer was gone, so was the Joe I knew. Winter brought along a scarier Joe.
I touch the bruise forming on my cheek and blink back tears.