I remember there was this huge oak tree.

We used to go there, you and I. Out in the middle of a wide field with grass up to my knees.

There was a tire swing tied to it. It was old; had been up there for ages. We didn't know how it got there, or who had traveled all the way out to the middle of that field and tied it up on that branch, but it was sturdy enough for us and that was all that mattered. You'd push me on it sometimes, though mostly I'd insist on pushing you. I liked that better. I liked to see you smile.

We went there every summer, when we just needed to get away. We'd talk about our future, and you'd say that someday we'd have a house in the suburbs, and it didn't matter that we couldn't have kids because we'd adopt. I liked talking about that. It made me feel better. Made me forget about everything else, made me just want to focus on you and how you talked. You always talked big. You made me see what you saw, made me dream what you dreamt.

Early mornings were my favorite time to be out by the tree. We'd meet up there because we couldn't let anyone know about us yet, but that was alright. I liked to watch the sunset in your arms, and if you hadn't slept yet you'd sometimes fall asleep there, head pillowed on my chest. I liked to watch you sleep, even if your insomnia worried me. Were you losing sleep over me? Over us? I never wanted you to feel stressed, but you always told me you were fine, and when you smiled like that, how could I argue?

...

I was in love.

...

You always told me that you wished you could fly.

You'd say it with this look on your face, like you'd want nothing more in the world than to soar over the treetops, away from everything and everyone. The way you'd look when we sat there together, you talking and me listening, I couldn't help but want you to fly too. The way your long brown hair would seem to float on a stray breeze, your eyes sparkling with whimsy. I wanted you to be happy. I wanted us to be happy.

You came with me when I told my parents, and you let them call you names and take out their disappointment on you. I wanted to put myself in front of you; wanted to protect you so badly, but all I could do was cry. I was so useless. I'm still so useless. I'm sorry. But I couldn't handle their yelling, their accusing eyes telling me that I wasn't normal, that I wasn't right. That we weren't right. I wanted them to see how in love we were, but they couldn't, and I still don't understand how they could call what we did ugly, when I thought what we had was the most beautiful thing in the world.

I never wanted a man. I wanted you. Why couldn't they understand?

They sent us away, but you always looked on the bright side. You said we could start over anyway, that it didn't matter what they thought. You said we'd have our future with or without them, and you made me hopeful. So I left with you, and we went to the big city, got an apartment for cheap, and found some jobs. It wasn't the greatest, but it didn't matter, so long as you were with me.

But one day I came home, and you were crying.

I had to wonder what I could have done to let this happen. Without your smile, the world seemed bleak. I held you in my arms and I told you it'd be alright, but I felt like I couldn't help. You always knew what to say. But I was never so good with words as you. You were the smart one, you were the optimistic one.

Was I not enough? Were we not enough?

Is that why you jumped?

...

I still remember our special spot, by that oak tree. Sometimes I think of you, but I try not to. I get too sad when I think of you, but maybe some day it won't hurt so much. Maybe some day I'll go back to our spot, by that huge tree. Maybe some day I'll be able to love your memory just as much as I loved you, but not right now.

Because you left me here, all alone, and without you I really don't know what to do with myself.

...

You always told me that you wished you could fly.

I hate everyone who clipped your wings.