Do you still smile? Is it bright? Does it show through your eyes and make them sparkle? Or are your eyes the only honest part of you? Can you be held without hurting? I remember. Not the fading, no, but the realization. The one that told me I was in way over my head. The one that I wish I had never come to.
I remember. The night. I know it was night because there was no sun. Nothing to shine on your face and make up for the smile that was always the first thing to go. Nothing to make it seem as if you were blushing, no warmth. You were always cold, especially when your eyes were sad. I remember the weather was the kind that allows words to spill out without hesitation and that makes people comfortable. It made you comfortable. It made me want to walk, slow. And talk. About the things that were fading. The honest things, and the intimate. I remember stopping to stare at the swaying trees above us, and wondering if someone, anyone, could feel what I felt when I looked up, or if I was alone, like you always feel alone.
I remember the urge to collapse to the rough concrete and pull you with me. The sidewalk was covered in leaves that didn't have a chance to show their colors, but you liked it that way. You were always black and white. I remember I pulled, and you tumbled reluctantly, landing conveniently within reach but not too close. We laid back because I wanted to see the trees against the soft sky. And I told you to look up, and tell me what you see. How you feel, or if you feel at all. I remember your tone was indifferent when you replied, I see a tree. Leaves. And I feel permanently cold. Permanently cold. I turned my gaze to you and your contagious shiver infected me, running goosebumps up my arms and down my legs. I remember my mouth drying up and how the shiver became a shake. How could I have missed the fading? Even as I spoke of it? I always spoke, always thought, always wrote.
And I let things happen. Let things fade and I stood and watched, ignorant. Oblivious. I remember the realization more than anything. I wondered if I'd ever see you smile again, and if it would be honest, or a pathetic attempt to please the rest of the world. I wondered if you didn't feel like you belonged. If it hurt to be held because it was all a lie. If you would remember like I knew I would. And I do. I remember.