Your index finger stopped the descent of tears trickling down my left cheek. You collected my sorrow as if it were your own and added it to the simmering pot taking up two burners on our gas stove. You looked to me and told me to tell you of the nightmares which drive away my light on nights where you are not by my side. I opened my mouth to speak and one by one, each fear seeped heavily from my tongue like black sludge into the glass bowl you held at my chin. You set the bowl down onto the marbled counter-top and handed me an orange rose as you turned back to me. I smelled it and smiled. Unknowingly, you captured my photo and waited as the polaroid inched slowly from the mouth of your camera.
I could smell nutmeg in the air as the breeze from the open window brushed passed our cheeks. I took a seat at the distressed kitchen table and pushed aside the tiny jars of cinnamon, honey and cloves, in order to rest my arms. I watched as you moved about the kitchen, scuffing the floors with your muddied boots. You unearthed a bag of navel oranges from the bottom of the pantry and I witnessed something so loving as your overworked hands slowly peeled off the skin of each orange, paying each the same attention as you did the first. Once you finished, you discarded the remains by tossing half into the boiling pot and pushing the other half deep into the soil of our asters. You motioned for me to give you my hand. I obliged. You pulled me in close and I could feel the sticky heat radiating from your chest as we began to slow dance in the middle of the kitchen on that spring evening. As you spun me around, you stumbled and stepped on my toes. I cannot remember another time in my life where I laughed as hard as I did while you apologetically kissed all over my face to correct your error.
The pot boiled over.
I rushed to turn down the heat, but you abruptly stopped me. I backed away and watched closely as you began to gather the remaining ingredients for your elixir. The pot shook violently as you added my fears. You waited a moment before adding the polaroid of my smile. You stirred the mixture once and removed the pot from the burners. After setting the pot aside, you turned to me and I stepped into you.
Every night since, I have met you in this kitchen as I steep my tea and I miss the sight of your muddied boots shuffling before me.