I don't understand why you left me. You were closer to me than the others. The first, well the first... I was still so young.

He had barely connected with me at all. He felt more like a whisper, not really there, only faintly. It was almost a relief when he had left...almost. I was not ready for him, really. Not mature enough to handle the relationship. I was still sad at his departure though. My parents were quite pleased he had gone.

"It isn't the right time." "You're not ready for the relationship." "WHAT were you thinking?" "Of all the stupid idiotic things you have done in your life, THIS one takes the cake."

It made them happy. I think, maybe, they had wished him away. A chill filled me at the time like a cold fog.

The second, he was unexpected. My parents were furious with that bond. That had not changed. No surprise there.

"Didn't you learn the first time?" "How assinine!" "You haven't any brains up there! You know that don't you? Nothing up there at all!"

The words stuck a little like burrs to a sock. Irritating until you brush them off. I was still cold from the first time. He was kept cocooned. He was a change, one of many that year. I was so busy, fluttering from here to there. I kept him at a distance. I didn't have the time to talk with him -my excuse, more so that I didn't take the time to talk with him. It was easier keeping him at arms length. More able to handle the sweeping changes occurring in my life. He brought me great joy despite myself.

And then there was you. I had planned on you from the start, did you know that? The second one left me feeling confident, sure of myself. I knew what I wanted. I wanted you. I was not afraid to open myself up to experience you fully. I talked with you everyday. I sang to you (you did not laugh), I read to you. We listened to music together, we danced together, we walked together, and we played soccer together. Do you still remember the warmth of the sun? I do. Those were carefree times. I was content. We were content.

I remember the day you left me. I knew you were going. I felt it in my gut. I felt you drawing away from me after that last soccer match. I never played on a soccer team again . Was I too rough? I never did find out why you went away. I remember the silence left in your wake. That aching silence that echoed endlessly. Thunderously. I cried for days, curled up in a ball in a darkened room. I still feel the emptiness even now, so many years later. It's a pain that doesn't go away, only deadens a bit with time, like scar tissue. Always there, just a little numb.

After you, I kept my distance from the next two, until after they were here. I didn't trust they would stick around until then. You were the only one I trusted would be here and you're not.