Villanova ’98 – E. Carter

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Her eyes were desperate, wild and red with the fight that lies within defeat:

“What do I have to live for now that he’s gone?”

“Everything,” she answered. “That was there before. The rooftop sunsets, the early morning cigarettes on the beach, the grand romantic what-have-you- it’s all still there. It never left. He did. That fact does not make the things you love more or less beautiful- it simply exists, as does everything else.”

“What separates him, and any predecessors or followers he may have, in your story?  The things that take your breath away- mountains, the full moon and its energy, the feeling in your stomach when you set foot in a faraway place for the first time- are permanent. Your entire life, you will find people and lose them- often, the same ones several times- as if cast into a violent ocean, blessed and cursed to be thrown into each other at every turn of the tide. People come and go as they please. Some without leaving so much as a note, slamming the door on their way out at 6 am. When this happens, you must remember what you loved before. What you have always loved, and will forever.”

She stretched, and placed the cigarette holder to her lips again. She knew this place well. She was smiling now.

“You said he was your sun, moon and stars, but you gave him too much credit. Those things will outlive him by millennia. Those things will comfort you until your last breath, and they loved you long before you learned what human attachment was. ‘He’, as he is now, will not exist tomorrow. A sharp breath of foreign air, a red-eye plane ticket, the caress of the sun in April, wherever it finds you. Those will always be waiting for you. Unconditionally. That’s all.” And then, she was gone.

 

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