It happens to me over and over like all memories. I am knee deep in a conversation that I am not interested in and I find myself drifting off into pictures.

I will always see her from a distance. Never up close. In real life I saw her very up close, got to touch her, got to feel warm body against cold body and got to love her. In memories she is only as close as I remember her being. Very far away.

If I could stop and tell you, this is where I meet her, this is where I first fall in love, this is why I fall too fast and hard, I would need to stop for days. Trouble is, I don't think I remember this. All I have is how it fell apart.

This is the picture in my head when I think of her now: Jill, short and too beautiful, leading me through crowds. Hand in hand and dragging me behind, top tumbling over because we are in a rush. Sea-green eyes and brown hair with gold tints, flowing through a people river and keeping me intact.

In the day, she is all theirs, butterflying around from person to person and not throwing glances in my direction. She is all social and fluid and hidden all at the same time and this is the part that I don't get to know. All caught up in the lives of lesser people with prettier faces and fashionable names and fat wallets.

But at night she is mine, all mine, and there is not a thing that any of you pretty boys or girls can do about it because this time the ugly duckling wins. She is mine because I will bring her flowers and tell her she is beautiful. She is mine because I am all words and romance and secrets and finger tips on her spine.

Jill said, "We have to keep this a secret." And I foolishly agreed.

Years later and no one knows about it still. Years later and I will start dreaming of a girl leading me from a distance. And sometimes I will see a woman with sea-green eyes and I want to scream at the top of my lungs, I want to let the world know that these are eyes I loved. But I have kept my promise and this is what I am doing with the silence.

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