I remember, on a hot summer day, her standing silhouetted against the sun with two enormous clouds behind her like a pair of mismatched wings. I remember rolling around in the wet soil, as we crouched from the thunderstorm; when giggles turned to kisses and tickles turned to fucks. I remember the smells – the faint almost minty scent of dry alkaline earth, citrus deoderant and perfume, the rusty iron tang of blood for which she apologised but showed no sign of wanting to stop. I remember peeling off wet socks and emptying my shoes after we ran across the boating lake to stop a group of male ducks from ganging up on a female with a limp.
As colour drains from memory, and so the scents fade into dust. The wet earth becomes brittle clods again, the blood dries and flakes, the perfume destroys itself into lousy bacteria and the clouds turn to rain which pass by and are gone before the first shoots of spring can taste it.
She once said, ever the sweet little cynic; “love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage… one being whipped just to drag the other.” I used to love those killer little lines she’d drop like stones in a perfectly still pond, just to see how far the ripples would travel and for how long. This is why we aren’t together anymore – I spent far too long trying to decide if what she said was profound, or stupid or neither.