Fall Without You This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I was walking the other day. The leaves were falling. They were such beautiful colors. They were just lying on the ground, hundreds of them. It made me sad to see the beautiful, dead leaves being walked on, driven on, and crushed to bits.

The crunch of my steps on the delicate, helpless leaves made me think of you. Your soft breathing. Your warmth. Your touch. We used to go on long, destination-less walks. I felt like you were walking next to me, but you weren't. I was alone, surrounded by the coldness of the changing season.

I looked up as I passed a tree. It looked like it was on fire. So many gorgeous colors, burning iridescently. Remember the time we sat under a tree in the park? We talked forever, about love, politics, the universe, about nothing. The leaves were green then. They weren't afraid to hold onto their branches and they didn't die. They were vibrant and full of life.

I sit under the flaming tree. I am crying a bitter, remorseful cry. I'm shedding tears for days lost and days not lived.

For the fallen leaves.

We sat together on the concrete step, holding hands, not saying anything. Your kind eyes that looked into my sad ones did all the talking. We had known each other for so long that the silence was not cumbersome. It was welcome.

My eyes broke away from yours and I looked across the quiet street at the dignified brown and gray apartment buildings. I had known their stately, solid facade longer than I had known your warm touch. They reassured me that everything would remain as it had always been: safe, harmonious, and immutable.

I felt your steady gaze and turned back to you. Your face was becoming a swirling mess of flesh tones in my tear-ridden eyes, but I couldn't bring myself to look away again. You were so warm. Feeling that the time to tell you had arrived, I let go of your hand, suddenly, painfully. Painfully.

Your face, though still distorted, was obviously quizzical. I sniffed and shifted on the steps. Tearing my gaze from you, I looked at the apartment buildings for support.

"Say you'll always love me."

"What?"

"Just ... please. I need to hear it."

"Of course, I'll always love you." You shook your head. You were worried and confused. I breathed in enough oxygen to last for one minute and began. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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