Love rusts. I never expected myself to say such a thing. But I have perceived that, given enough time, it simply falls apart.
I’m talking about old love, lost love, love long abandoned. Love that once crawled through veins and set senses on fire.
“I’ve missed you,” she said when I met her. My first love, removed from sight and heart for countless years.
“I’ve missed you too.” The words carried no meaning. They were a formality. I did not realize this at the time.
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We spent the night reminiscing over memories long past. Long walks along dykes and rivers, the endless conversations, the lingering moments on doorsteps, the kiss that never was. The kiss.
“I’ve always wondered about it,” she remarked. The scent of wine lay heavy on her breath. She leaned in closer. She had that playful way about her. It was hard to resist.
“We can’t,” I said. Smiling, I tapped my ring and pointed at hers.
She came closer still, her perfume clouding my better judgement. She reasoned. The kiss belonged to the past, to a time long before marriage. It would stay there. No harm done. I believed it. I went with it.
Her lips came to rest on mine. I recall the softness, the moistness, the flick of her tongue. It was a good kiss. It could be argued that it was my first, long overdue. For the while it lasted, however, I felt nothing.
Maybe it simply wasn’t meant to happen. Maybe we defied fate. Or perhaps the love was too old, too long gone, replaced by another that burns stronger. That is what I now believe.