My first boyfriend lasted three months. I loved him, and for a week, we were happy.

I talked to him when the world was about to end because of computers, and his phone-voice made my survivalist torture at the hands of my parents almost bearable.

We left our world and went to get a christmas tree on a muddy, dark, overcast day, drizzly, sad, blue-gray. Our huge white dodge pickup gobbled the tiny little cut-your-own pine into it's gaping flatbed and white cover. Dad wasn't there, everything was wrong. It wasn't snowing, it wasn't raining, but it should have. It should have.

Later, I stood on the front step of our doomsday farmhouse, looking out into the dark, at the soft outline of the pinetrees, the yard lit by the porch light, the moon, the stars. His stars, my stars. I sat on cold red brick, shivering a little, but not too much, because this was Virginia.

In the glowing window, my family counted away the remaining minutes until the new millenium. Or not. (I was never really sure about that.)

He always called me dearest. Good night, dearest. You're beautiful, dearest. I hunched my shoulders embarrassedly and made squealy, happy, ambiguous noises. I could never be serious when it came to saying "I love you."

When the computers went on, so did we, roleplaying out our not-so-closely-kept sexual secrets with characters on AOL Instant Messenger.

But one day we ended, and I went to bed and cried. I always cry. Not for him, but for everything surrounding him, everything that I thought of.

The next week, it rained five days straight, or maybe it was only one or two, but it felt like five, because I was so sad, my dearest had become my drearest, and my cold arms in the cloudy gray weather were the only thing that was real for a while. We went to wal-mart in the white truck, jumped down out of it's plush blue cockpit, and bought stuff for dinner, not canned tomatos and dehydrated mushrooms.

Like rain, like misty gray winter days, and like my cold foggy breath in the freezing air, I think of our christmas tree and our white truck and my drearest, and I'm bittersweetly happy. I can never really remember him, only the end of him, and it is like rain and intentional sadness.

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