The person I love was almost my undoing. I remember his eyes, the crow's feet splayed around them, the splatter of blue and green that made them all the more for secrecy. He never told me how he broke his nose, but I deduced his pain even when he never did mine.
The person I love had hands bigger than mine. He played the piano with more intent than I grazed my hands over my guitar. And he always knew he was the better singer. Even when he humoured my attempts at song-writing. The person I love gave bad advice; the person I love shattered my relationship with my mother without ever meaning to. But when you love the person I love, you treat them with more purpose than parents who have offered nothing but anxiety.
But he saved me from myself. Repeatedly.
The person I love had kindness in his soul. He was Oxford shoes and second-hand Dior. Because he could. He lived simply and somehow with a flair that I was caught in. Had a shocking sociability—but often not taken too far. The person I love knew when to stop, and when to show his emotions. He knew.
The man I love took whisky straight and pinot grigio on punts with a side of strawberries. He smoked cigars socially and regretted doing so. He forgot to shave when he was stressed, and was most days clean-shaven. He joked too seriously and threw so much anger when he was serious. I told myself his arrogance came from his being an August birthday.
I forgave his insensitivity time and again.
The man I will always love moved away. Whether to escape our tryst or truly because his work called him miles from me, I will never know. What I know is the shreds of knowledge Facebook allows me on occasions when my mind replays years of longing. Or when a hymn recalls an exchange I'd forgotten we'd shared, or I see in the corner of my eye an organist wearing gingham burgundy.
The person I love haunts me, even now.
The person I love is not my boyfriend.