Last night it was the dream again and you were in it. You were facing away from me and I could see the back of your neck and the way your hair curls under your collar. In the dream you smelled like Calvin Klein's Eternity, lemonade and that strangely dense fragrance that rises up from you and I have no name for. And in the dream I realized what I think I have always known, even when I've denied it; it has always been you that I've wanted. You are the last thing I think of before I fall asleep, you are the first thing I think of before I wake. Knowing you has changed me in subtle but indelible ways, so much that I cannot quite remember what life was like before I knew you. And in the dream, I grabbed you from behind, and kissed the back of your neck where your hair curled into your collar and whispered, "I love you".

And upon waking, I realized once more what I have always known, I will always love you. And I do not speak with the hyperbole and silliness of youthful crushes, but rather with the knowledge that your touches have marked my skin, and that I can summon your image effortlessly just by closing my eyes. And I love you not with an urgency, but with a deliberateness. For you, I would be more persistant and patient than Florentino Ariza in his seemingly hopeless pursuit of Fermina Daza.

But I am not hopeless.

Rather, I am secure in knowing that no matter what happens, no one will ever love you in precisely the same way that I do. Oh, there will be others who fall for you and others whose lives you change, how could there not be, you being who you are? But none of them will know what I feel for you. None of them will relish the memory of each kiss in the exact same manner. And no one else will tremble at your approach or tingle at your touch the way I do.

I will not despair. I will treasure each moment spent with you as one stolen. I will savor the feel of your skin against mine. I will remember your smell. And I will remember the way I can never quite put a name to the color of your eyes. And I will hold your hand and fall asleep listening to your voice.

And I will kiss you. And I will kiss you again and again until, Catullus-like, I lose count of the kisses. I will kiss your eyelids and the backs of your knees and your cheek, and the tender flesh on your wrists. I will devour you with kisses. I will kiss you until my lips remember every place they have touched you and I forget all of my past heartaches.

A glimpse of Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza...
Her doubts were still unresolved on Christmas Eve, when she was shaken by the presentiment that he was in the crowd at Midnight Mass, looking at her, and this uneasiness flooded her heart. She did not dare to turn her head, because she was sitting between her father and her aunt, and she had to control herself so that they would not notice her agitation. But in the crowd leaving the church she felt him so close, so clearly, that an irresistible power forced her to look over her shoulder as she walked along the central nave and then, a hand's breadth from her eyes, she saw those icy eyes, that livid face, those lips petrified by the terror of love. Dismayed by her own audacity, she seized Aunt Escolastica's arm so she would not fall, and her aunt felt the icy perspiration on her hand through the lace mitt, and she comforted her with an imperceptible sign of unconditional complicity. In the din of fireworks and native drums, of colored lights in the doorways and the clamor of the crowd yearning for peace, Florentino Ariza wandered like a sleepwalker until dawn, watching the fiesta through his tears, dazed by the hallucination that it was he and not God who had been born that night.
from Love in the Time of Cholera
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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