Love Lost in the Earth's Rotation

August 3, 2008
By Ian Nyanin, Silver Spring, MD

They stood on the bridge, hand in hand, and vowed their undying love for each other. Nothing could tear them apart, they asserted brazenly to the rest of the world, with a mixture of youthful naiveté and earnest hopefulness, though they knew deep inside that things would never be the same again.

It was fall and the sidewalks were voluble with the sounds of crunching leaves under sensible shoes. He was anxious because he knew that she would be returning home again. It had only been a few months but it seemed as though much had changed. A few weeks in they decided that things would be easier if they took a break from each other; only a break though, nothing permanent.

She mentioned that she had dyed her hair, but he wondered what else had changed about her. He wondered what had changed that he couldn’t see just by looking at her.

He had changed, he thought. He had grown an inch. But he grew as a person as well and more importantly. He changed in so many ways that just couldn’t be put into words and it had only been 3 months or so.

An onslaught of unsettling thoughts suddenly bum-rushed him: Would he kiss her when he saw her? Would that make things awkward? Would she rebuff him, pushing him away or pulling away? What if she got a tongue piercing? He had always heard that girls with tongue piercings were easy. What if she wanted to break things off so she could bed-hop her way across the campus? What if she had met someone? Would that be strange if she moved on and he didn’t? Just because he hadn’t found someone new didn’t mean that he hadn’t moved on, did it? Why did he need to move on at all?

All of these questions were becoming too much to handle. He yearned for the days of childhood when things were simpler. When he knew where they stood; when the boundaries of his world, despite all of its infinite possibilities, were still clearly defined. There were so much left unknown about life and the future. He yearned for a time when there existed nothing beyond the two of them and the world they had created, fortified with so many secrets whispered under forts made of bed-sheets and blankets, endless summer days that stretched on into forever and the bond forged between two halves of one person who would never be whole without the other again.

But there was no turning back. The world was forever spinning on and spending too much time in the past might mean missing the present. He realized that over the span of twelve years they had changed far more than they ever could have in 3 months; that they had grown apart numerous times, but always found their way back together in the end.

Sitting on her porch he was trying to hold on to something that was gone; gone by the very nature of life itself and nothing of their doing. Whatever they had, whatever they were, it had evolved.

What exactly it had become, he wasn’t sure. But he knew that he wouldn’t find it sitting there on her porch.

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