It's a cold, empty day.

It's been snowing all morning and now, when I return home, there is ice on our doorknob. I grumble a bit as I fumble to get the key into the lock. It won't go in. Growling, I force it. The ice gives way, shattering, shards crashing to the ground.

So much like my soul.

When we're torn apart…

The door finally opens and I'm inside.

You're sprawled on the shabby sofa, polisci books and notes scattered all over the coffee table. But you're not working; rather you're on the phone. With Heather. I can tell by the tone of your voice and the smile on your face. You look up for a moment as I kick off my slushy shoes, waving, not skipping a beat in your earnest conversation.

You stop, however, at the weary expression on my face. I must have those wild staring eyes. I have a strong urge to fly, yet there's nowhere to fly to. You tell Heather you'll call her back later, hang up the phone and look expectantly at me. Twirling a curl of hair around your finger, you ask me what's wrong.

I'm wandering the room, putting my book bag on the floor near my favorite chair, hanging up my coat and scarf, and I don't answer until I sink down onto the couch beside you. I pull a pillow into my lap as I begin the tale of the trials that were today.

The day was going to be perfect.

In a moment of truth, there are lies…

Or so I thought.

I had the best lesson plan mapped out for my sixth graders, a wonderful group project about the middle ages. I went to bed last night, so excited, and when I woke this morning…There was an hour delay. That meant my already short class was made even shorter. My brilliant lesson plan would be cut short; the students would be ansty.

You used up all the hot water and I got stuck with a cold shower. It was a morning day for you, so I had to take the bus.

It came late.

The kids wouldn't be quiet. They didn't answer my questions, they didn't cooperate with one another and they didn't find the lesson I worked so hard to plan at all exciting. One of them went home with the flu after she threw up all over a classmate's backpack. I was at my wits end when I went rushing out to catch the bus home, leaving a stack of tests I need to grade on my desk.

I nearly missed said bus.

It was a terrible day.

You listen silently as I spill out all of my troubles, then put an arm around my shoulder. I cry on you for a while, mumbling about the meaninglessness of my life. This is not at all how I pictures it would be, except for you're here, and teaching is just too hard.

I should give up.

In the arms of an angel…

Then you hug me, telling me I can't let go of my dreams. I'm not a quitter, you tell me, because where would you be if I had given up on you? Who would have comforted you all those times? Who would have dried your bitter tears?

Who would have loved you?

I cry harder.

You go on, saying one bad day doesn't matter. I'm not a failure because things went wrong and that certainly doesn't make my life meaningless. Your hand wipes away my tears, your voice continues to invade my mind. So long as I help one person - the very way I helped you - life has meaning.

My life has meaning.

The secret of life is…

Nothing else matters.

Then you hand me a tissue, tell me you love me and rise to wander into the small kitchen in search of dinner. You know I need time alone to finish my cry and you respect this. I watch through teary eyes as you leave the room, not so different from myself at eighteen, yet a complete and separate person. We are so different, yet so the same.

We complete one another.

I remember reading once, for a philosophy class, that life without love has no meaning. But, the selection informed me, there are two kinds of love. Until this very moment, I have been an immature lover, hiding myself, suffering, lost in a sea of something…Pain, perhaps. I have been a masochist, accepting loss and suffering as love.

Is it true you beat your fists on the floor?

I am some one who is not fully born.

Until this moment.

I also remember something you said to me once: "You stopped me from being empty; you made me full instead." This is mature love; that feeling that we wholly and truly need one another. I rely on you; you equally rely on me. We give to one another without expecting to receive anything. This is the greatest joy.

I have given it all to you.

You give yourself away…

You are my greatest joy.

I love you…

…There is no secret.


For my little sissy, who has unwavering faith in me…I love you, Cat. Don't know what I would do without you. Always stay who you are and someday I will rescue you.

Never give up; never surrender…