Three times I fell in love. The first time was when I was young and headstrong and reckless. It was a passionate love, a teenager's love, a doomed love, because it was too red-hot and fast-paced to ever last forever. But it was fun while it lasted and he said he'd always have a special place in his heart for me, and I said I would for him.

The rain on the day that that love failed used to burn like acid, but now I've let it go and it somehow fell away into oblivion. But I still have that special piece of my heart where my first love stands.

Three times I fell in love. The second time was when I was older, wiser, and I could have sworn that he was the one. He was handsome and strong and kind and funny but he wasn't perfect. He had flaws that glared and his temper was legendary, but he loved me and I him and I could have sworn that we would be together when the trumpets rang for eternity and I would love him forever.

But trumpets rang too early and my second love, my eternal love, died young and we never got married or had kids or bought a house together and that pain stung like fire and knives and I laid awake weeks, listless and broken, wishing on every shooting star and every seventh step that he'd come back to life. But my second love wasn't meant to be. He was a joy while he was here, but the good die young and he was too good to last.

Three times I fell in love. One time I didn't. He was older than I, but not much. He was handsome and screamed perfection and joy and a wonderful future and my family just loved him. I pretended to love him too, but the memory of my second love was still bitter on my tongue and I still thought I could never love another. Under the guise of happiness, I married him and had his child and stayed in his house, but it was empty to me and he knew it.

The lawyer never did understand why we wanted a divorce. Neither did anyone else. But we parted ways amicably as possible, agreeing on when to visit our son and having as few fights as possible, and everyone wondered why two people who clearly got along well and seemed right on the outside had fallen out of love. They couldn't understand that there never had been a love to fall out of.

Three times I fell in love. The third time, I considered myself too old for frivolous nonsense, but he was kind and caring, and mercifully blind to my faults and brokeness, still caught up on the second love that stole my heart. He held my hand and pulled me into the future tentatively, and I was too jaded by now to let him take me where I went. So I held back and fought the too-old, too-late love that could never be, and I still don't know if what I felt for him was love or just foolish pretend.

He gave up on me and my son, but when he was gone I realized that I no longer had to mourn my pasts and my faults and my problems, and I thought about giving my ex-husband another chance. Without my baggage, it seemed easier the second time around. People shook their heads and asked why we'd bothered with the first marriage, but they couldn't really understand, and at any rate, it wasn't their business to understand it.

Three times I fell in love, and one time I didn't. I never really knew the difference.

- Not my favorite, no. But I'm working on a humorous, romantic, hellishly long oneshot that probably won't get finished for days. And please don't ask where I've been. It's been a long month and a half. Or more. I forget.
And the title refers to seasons, as in, summer and winter. Like, seasons of life and all. Don't ask. I could think of no other name.