I catch myself thinking of the winter, in blue.

Your face: it is only a picture now that sits upon my mantle. This home is lonely. You would not understand the way an empty house feels. Especially when your heart is empty too.

I moved in here last year after getting a job at the local school. I thought maybe a move across country would help to change my perspective. Cheer me up.
There was always something about the Oregon coast that pulled me. Always something that lured me, baited me, hooked me into thinking that nothing could go wrong there.

Look, Eugene is beautiful, but it is not the coast. You dreamed of Eugene. I dreamed of Florence. Everything goes wrong here.

There is a boy in my class that has a face like yours. Soft. Understanding. Doe eyes. Brown eyes. Cheek bones. Jaw bone. Lips like honey. You would not understand.

He is sixteen and scared of the future. Just like you were. Just like you still are. I wish I could tell him that it all works out okay if he just lends himself a few more years. But who am I to talk to him of love and life and that oh-so-dirty word future when I am just his sociology teacher?

Did you ever feel like maybe I was your teacher too?

Look, maybe I cannot write what I feel as well as I used to. Maybe I just need to talk to you rather than writing these words on legal paper, when all the while I should be grading essays.
Should I tell this boy that he goes on to be successful in life and love just like you? That after having someone break his heart, he breaks someone else's and will send her off to live in a lonely northwestern town? Does it end up like this for every one like you? Does it?

When I too long have looked upon your face, I catch myself thinking of a past I can never reclaim. And the future that I will have just to compensate for it.

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