When Autumn comes knocking at your door, do not stand there and gawk at her.
When you walk through the neighborhood, seeing dirty water puddles filled with leaves, do not think of the time when we were seven, splashing around in them; crisp white uniform skirts, socks, ribbons and all. Do not think of the Chai we drank out of the tiny glasses that fit just right between our palms as we waited under the broken makeshift tarpaulin roof for the drizzle to subside. If you ride past school, do not look to see the swing hanging from the old, bare Oak where we pretended to fly towards a life that we wanted. When you make pagodas on a chilly day that makes you shut your tiny kitchen window, do not recollect the time I burnt my hand and you nursed it with ice.
Do not read Great Expectations on your balcony overlooking the lake with that ugly orange sweater draped over your shoulders, your hair braided down your back, smile curving your face into the very object of my nightmares.
My nightmares where you are ripped away from my arms. Nightmares from which I awake searching for your warmth next to me only to find it gone.
Because I never had it, did I?
You never gave it to me.
So don’t you dare think of splashing through a puddle without thinking about me. Think about me when you pass that swing on your way to work and when you clink Chai glasses with somebody else. Somebody new. My replacement. When you laugh at the jokes he’s telling you, think about me.
Think about me and that quick, unexpected kiss we shared when you looked away from that book and told me that I looked better when my hair hung unbraided. Think about me and the million kisses we shared, all charged with passion, and an urgency that I know you never felt when you kissed your men. Think about me and the way you broke my heart while making me promise to keep your secret.
And I have kept your secret well. The dread in your stomach has unraveled itself now.
When Autumn comes knocking at your door, Don’t gawk at her, darling.
Instead, shut the door on her face for she will sneak a thousand destructive, cold winds into your home. Along with a well kept secret.