Once

I loved her once, I realise this now. As I sit here watching the leaves turn, Fall scratching the colours of Summer from the wood behind my home, it is her hazel eyes, her ruddy cheeks, her chestnut hair that I see in every hue of the season.
It was not always this way, but one forgets what one wishes to, and remembers what one does not. I remember too much. It hurts. I am forever in torment.
I stroll through the wood daily. It is more than a habit yet less than a dare, it is a ritual, no more and no less. I count the dying dandelions in the seeds that take flight on the cool, north wind. There are many, but I have nothing better to do.
I cross the stream with the migrated shopping trolley still buried in its half-filled depths. I ponder on how it got here; I still donโ€™t have an answer.
The deeper wood is lined in oaks, silver birches in various states of disrepair and a rogue maple itโ€™s leaves burning in claret. I love the colour, it reminds me of her lipstick.
I waft at my own lips involuntarily and bow my head. I think she would like this. I hope she would, as I put another flower on her arboreal grave, turn and walk away. I no longer smile when I do so, but there is the occasional sneer.

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