Love alone shouldn’t be enough

Photo by Andrew Neel on

I opened the door and Drew stood there with a black eye. He didn’t call before and and had nothing else with him but the clothes on his back.

“Did you at least take the train here?” I asked.

“No.. I forgot my wallet so kind of had to walk,” Drew answered as if walking two miles here wasn’t a big deal.

“Drew…” I dreaded

“Can I come in?” Drew didn’t wait for me to say anything else.

I shook my head while opening the door for him.

Drew walked in and threw himself on my couch. I came over and sat down on one end of the couch. I reached over to his knees and rubbed on them a little, like how others comforted each other by rubbing the other person’s back.

Drew smiled weakly, “You should see the other guy.”

“But I don’t care about the other guy. I only care about you.” I sighed.

I didn’t say anything else, and Drew said nothing either. He curled himself even smaller on the couch. He already knew what I was going to say.

“Drew, this is not healthy. I don’t think you should stay with..”

“I can’t. I love him, ” he cut me off, “I never loved anyone like that and probably never find another one like him. I can’t leave.”

“I don’t think so,” I sighed, “I also don’t think you should find another one like him either.” I stood up from the couch.

I brought out a blanker for him and made him a cup of hot tea. I told him to go to sleep. He needed some rest. We never discussed what happened right after it happened.

Ding dong…Ding dong…

My alarm for work didn’t even ring yet but there was already a door bell ringing. I mumbled to myself, “Every damn time,” while dragging myself to open the door. Drew had already been awake and sat up properly on the couch. He watched me opened the door.

“Hi, good morning. I’m sorry for bothering you so early in the morning,” Colin stood there with his button up shirt ironed crisply and his salt and pepper hair combed neatly to one side, “I’m here to pick up Drew.”

“Yes, of course.” I opened the door wider while still standing there blocking between him and the inside.

I turned my head to look at Drew who looked like he has been ready since who knew when, “Are you ready Drew?”

“Yeah,” he walked towards the door and hugged me on his way out, “Thanks for last night.”

“Text me if you need anything ok?” I hugged back.

I opened the door and Drew stood there drenched liked a wet rat. I could imagine he ran all the way over here in the cold winter rain. I pulled him in the apartment while yelling at him “Are you an idiot?”

I rushed to grab a towel for him.

“I did take the train here, ” he yelled after me, “just wanted to take a short walk to clear my head.”

“Yeah, and how did that go?” I threw the towel over his head.

“I’m done,” his whole face was covered under the towel when he muttered out those words, “I’m done with him.”

“For real? Are you serious?” I tried to hide the content in my voice.

Drew nodded.

I brought him a change of clothes and a hot cup of tea. When I brought him the blanket, I told him he could stay here for as long as he wanted. He was always welcomed. He nodded his head and said he might take me up on that.

The next morning, there was that door bell ringing first thing in the morning. Colin stood there, greeted me politely like usual and said he was here to pick Drew up.

I turned to look at Drew. I didn’t need to say anything for him to know who was behind the door. Drew, again, already looked like he had been awake for forever and was ready to go for a long time.

“Are you sure?” I grabbed his arm a little while whispering to him. “Drew, you always can…”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” He hugged me. “Thanks for last night,” and walked away with Colin.

I rushed over to the window to watch them. Colin held Drew in his arm and they walked together under a blue umbrella in the morning cold winter rain. The condensation fogged up my window. The image of them under that dark rainy sky was getting further and blurry. I felt so helpless.

This post is a response to the Go Dog Go Cafe’s Tuesday Prompt.


As winter whispers

As winter whispers, my heart freezes. Every winter, it got colder and darker, and I could never get the image of you out of my head. I remembered your back in the dark. You were wearing a thick navy parka.

As winter whispers, the cold freezes my face and I always remember your kiss. The last time, you kissed me on my cheek. If I knew that would be the last time, I would kiss you on your lips and have one last taste of your cherry lip gloss. You didn’t even kiss me right that last time. You breezed through my cheek and told me you had to run.

As winter whispers, the cold wind blows through my hair and I remembered how it used to blow through yours. That day, a strong wind blew the hood off your head. Your blonde hair flew out and they looked sparkling under the street lights. You panickingly struggled to grab your fuzzy thick hood back on your head while crossing the street. The light wasn’t red and you crossed.

As winter whispers, I remembered your blonde hair bursted out covering half of your faced down body on the street. I remembered running towards you and crying till I couldn’t see clearly. I heard lots of noises. I heard sirens but I didn’t hear your voice.

Every time winter comes, they said I have seasonal depression. They don’t know how it feels having your loved one taken away by winter. If it was summer, if only it was summer, none of our tragedy would have happened.

This little prose is a response to a beautiful prompt this week by Go Dog Go’s Cafe.


Winter in Maine

5 Reasons You Should Never Live in Maine During the Winter
Source: Q97.9

I lived in Maine for a few years. In fact, I went to high school in Maine, a small boarding high school. When I was there, I couldn’t wait to get out of Maine. It was cold most time of the year. There was nothing much to do but miles and miles of ocean with lighthouses, and one country road after another leading to nowhere. I spent hours and days sitting on a rock by the freezing beaches or in an empty gazebo watching water flowing in a small stream near school. I was born and raised in a big city. So a small town near the Easternmost point of Maine wasn’t enough for me.

I left for a career in environment, thanks to Maine. I didn’t think back about Maine much unless it was memories about all the friends and people I met there. Those, I cherished dearly. Maine to me was only memory, not much of a destination. Until, years later, I lived in New York and people told me it was expensive to fly to Maine. Not outrageously, but way more expensive than another destination with the same distance. I was honestly wondering why. There was nothing there to do, except sight seeing nature, lobster fishing, visiting lighthouses and may be passing by Stephen King’s house. Apparently, those were exactly why people visit Maine. They wanted to see nature, not big crowded cities. Back then, I did all those activities too often that I just thought they were too mundane to even mentioned.

If you ever heard people said that Maine was beautiful, they were absolutely right. If you wanted nature, Maine was gorgeous. It had a beauty of both the rows and rows of leaves changing color trees and the calm endless oceans with undisturbed beaches.

During winter, Maine was a winter wonderland. Not the same type with New York, where it was bright, lively and lit up with people singing carols on the street. Maine winters were frozen lakes and snow covered pine trees. Whenever I could wake up early to see the sun rise, I always tried to do it during the winter. The sun reflected off the frozen mirror-like ice made the whole ice shimmered.

Maine Winter - Summer in Winter - Down East magazine
Source: Down East Magazine

Maine winters were the silent roads lit with a few street lights. It was the warm cup of cocoa in your hands while watching snow silently fell on your neighbors’ roofs. It was waking up and seeing everything around you changed in one night. Everything was covered deep in snow. Before getting back to the digging-your-car-out-of-snow reality, you would get a few moments of the quite scene of snow falling. Not the ugly thin layer of snow that still left the ground exposed the gray asphalt, but the deep white powdery snow that looked like powdered sugar. With that type of snow, skiing was a must. All the hills and mountains that were just there during all other seasons, now serve a better purpose.

Snowy streets of Portland, Maine | Maine winter
Source: Corey Templeton

I would wear my snow boots and walked like a penguin (that was how Mainers taught me to walk in the snow so I wouldn’t fall on slippery spots) to a brewery. There was one thing cold places in America shared – drinking. Asked the Midwesterners what they do in the winter and they would tell you the same. I left Maine too long ago to know what exactly was going on there nowadays. But I heard breweries there are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. Again, cold place and drinking.

So if you have the gut to handle the snow, visit Maine during the winter. And may be you’ll find out why Stephen King wrote stories that were horrifyingly beautiful.