I pictured the sun setting over Mt. Ranier, with her beside me, warming what little faith I had left in her. Her cold body embracing mine.
So much for wishful thinking.
I found an envelope in her handwriting with my name, instead of her, at the top of the mountain.
I didn’t open it.
If she’s not here, it had to be bad news.
It just had to be.
We’d hike Mt. Rainer every other weekend.
The place I’d planned on asking her to marry me.
The place we’d lost our virginity.
But her letter drips with infidelities and regrets.
I didn’t have to open it to know it was bad news.
Mistakes that we’d told each other we’d never forgive.
She confused trust with loyalty.
I didn’t have to open the note to read between the lines.
I confused love with forgiveness.
No matter how awkward, a goodbye kiss would have been good enough.
Now, I’m waiting for blood to return to my fingers, trusting a promise we’d made late last fall.
Waiting on the mountain I’d hiked to meet her, but she…she wasn’t there.
I’ll miss her jet-black hair, swinging from side-to-side in a breeze.
Now, I’m cuddling close to memories and dreams, but I’m not alone.
I turn around; she’s standing there with a smile, saying: “I’ll love you always and forever.”
“What’s with the letter?”
“It’s a letter I want you to sign and send to my father, asking for his permission to marry me.”