I like the leaves in Autumn. Their warm colours are such a contrast to the cooling air, like a final ‘fuck you’ from the summer to the inevitable freeze. She liked the Autumn too. She liked how our boy would crunch and kick through fallen leaves as we walked along country roads trying to decide what we were to one another. Tied. Not just by him but by a mutual respect and understanding.
I did love her. She did love me. We were not in love.
We tried to be because we thought we ought to see what could be for him and his new perfect life in England.
But we couldn’t pretend and so we settled for friends. Happily. And we enjoyed the colours of Autumn as a family – even if not the traditional kind.
Now the burning orange leaves sing of yearning and grief. We lost her in the midst of the golden shedding of the trees. She was taken as winter approached and as the children started behaving as best they could in anticipation of Santa’s impending arrival armed with an arsenal of parent-funded bribery of the sort that is only acceptable once a year.
She loved to spoil him. We loved to spoil him. I still do and she still would if she could. I know and he does too.
This year he likes the colour of the leaves again. He sits at his window drawing pictures for her. If she can’t see it for herself then he’ll appreciate it for the both of them.