When This Autumn Falls

I waited for you at the bench today.

The last time we were there is etched so clearly in my memory. How could I forget it? It was the last time I saw you before you went away. Before you promised me you wouldn't. Before you spoke the only words you would ever break in your life — the only words I never wanted you to break.

There was a time you promised you would never promise me anything. Do you remember that?

The leaves were beautiful. They furled round us in a curtain, scattering like rain on a wind that carried them in a dance like joy. But the dance was a lie; it would only bury them in the grave of the forest's carpet, to wither and die and crumble into the dust that I, too, must someday become. Autumn was always my favorite season. The dimness enthralled me; I was intrigued by the fading, the withering, the dark miracle of a summer so deathless, coming to its end at last. You never did understand me. Spring was your season of choice: you lived for its life, thrived on seeing all that Autumn had strangled come back to bloom again, laughing at the winter that had tried to overtake the world forever and failed. You never could understand my fascination with the dying seasons. You told me, once, that if I fell too far in love with death, life would seem the curse more than otherwise. I didn't believe you, then. I didn't understand.

I understand you now.

I was afraid. You knew I was. And that is when you made your second promise—the one that filled my heart with comfort when first you said it. The one that leaves me as withered as my autumn when I remember it.

You should never have broken the first promise — the one about never promising.

Today I went back. For the first time. The last time. I never should have gone; yet for a fleeting moment, I wanted to believe that your words were somehow stronger. Stronger than the dying world I live in and you no longer do. Stronger than distance. Stronger than time. Stronger even than God.

I can never believe that again. I know the truth now. They say the truth will set you free — so why did I feel lighter inside for the few wild moments when I hoped for a lie? For the truth is more cold and alone, more full of dusk and darkness than the deepest November I have known. The truth is this: when a heart is filled with death, life is truly the curse after all. For an existence lived in the shadow of an ending is hopeless, if the death it longs for has not been removed from its sting.

 That was always what you meant. I never understood. I understand you now.

 And for the first time in my life, I wish it was Spring.

I waited for you at the bench today. You never came.

 - * - 
I found a bench today.
I sat on it, all by myself...
And I have never felt so lonely in all of my life.

 waiting for Heaven hurts like Death Itself. 

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