I kissed 10-year old Maddie Albright inside a little nook of rocks during a heated game of hide-and-seek some twenty years ago. Standing here now, like I do every year, I can still smell the curls that blew across my face with a pink ribbon and tickled my ear when I stole that kiss. We were ten and I’d always known she was special but she was never to be mine. I was too young to know what love was. Hell, I was just a pup. I loved ice cream but that was altogether different and ice cream didn’t give me butterflies in my stomach like Maddie did. I got older and Maddie just got prettier in my eyes. We were always friends but nothing more and that kiss behind the rocks remains my favorite memory. We can’t choose who we love and we certainly can’t choose who loves us back. We went our separate ways, Maddie and I. I wandered the world and thought of her often though I never saw her again.
A gust blows up over the hilltop while I pull a pink ribbon from my pocket and hold it by the tail for a moment watching it flutter and fight for release. Granting its freedom, I watch it tumble and crash off the rocks before twisting and writhing away down the hill falling end over end.
What a waste of a beautiful thing.