In those days we spent a lot of time together, he and I. There was something in his eyes that drew me close. It reminded me vaguely of the moth that often inhabited my room when the window was ajar. The little creature was ever drawn to the small flame that danced atop my candle as I wrote before bed. Even after it had singed its wings a time or two, still it returned. Perhaps it was the warmth or the light in the surrounding darkness. Or perhaps the little moth was just stupid. I couldn't help but compare myself.
It was, decidedly, his eyes. Even in the dead of winter, there was summer in his eyes. Bright and warm like sunshine. They brought to mind clear skies or perhaps a still blue lake. Only in dark moments would a cloud pass or someone toss a pebble in, sending ripples through their depths. But the ripples quickly settled, the skies would clear, and summer would return. Warming me through. Most days his eyes were bright and clear, deep and easy.
Yet, always knowing the capricious nature of the seasons and the fleeting frailty of time, I should have understood what was to come. Soon summer skies would give way to the chill and ever-changing ways of autumn. Less sure, less steady. Autumn is a fickle creature. One moment, full and colorful, turning dead and dark with the next dry breeze. When autumn came, I would find myself wishing fiercely for the free and easy summer.
Eventually, as is its habit, autumn too would give way to a cold and desolate winter. The calm and deep waters of the lake turned icy and hard, unrelenting. Then, even, I would wish for autumn, though fickle, at times bright. Or, against hope, yearn for a long awaited spring to bloom forth from the frost.
But in the early time, before the leaves began to change, all I knew was summer. I didn't know to savor every second of blue sky, to look deeply into the calm, clear waters of the summer lake. I didn't know to search for what lay within before the surface became entirely unyielding. Had I had such an understanding, I wonder if I might have dived willingly into their depths.
Now, however, I returned time and again, much as the foolish moth. I flew as close as I could, seeking the warmth, the brightness, often getting burned. No, I decided, the moth was lucky. The creature could still feel the warmth before the burn. For me, there was none, only darkness and stinging cold. Perhaps I was even more foolish than the moth. For what I chased no longer existed. I followed a memory, a wish. My candle was long extinguished and yet I returned to the still-scalding wax from sheer desperation or habit.
I shook my head quickly, trying to clear my thoughts. There was no sense in thinking such useless things. Wallowing in metaphors would change nothing. Much as I recognized my own idiocies, I also recognized, perhaps even more vehemently, that I could not bring myself to stop my own senseless behavior. Despite the pain, even the echo of his eyes was preferable to nothing. Yes, I decided, the burning was much preferable, it reminded me fiercely that I was alive, that I was not just a deadened empty shell as I so often felt.
I took a deep breath and sighed, staring a the ceiling momentarily. I shook my head once more, smoothed my dress, and let my heart pull me through the waiting door.