When does one stop loving?

When does one stop loving someone?  A year?  Five years?  A lifetime?  The half smile she flashes when slightly amused.  Her laugh at an unexpected joke.  “Don’t look at me.”  The Velvet Turtle.  Red Onion first time seeing her.  Chasing her into a dress shop the second.  “You look like someone I saw at the Red Onion a few months ago.  I wanted to get her number but she vanished,” I said.  “I go to the Red Onion,” she volunteered.  “It was the night Irene Cara was there,” I added.  “I was there the night Irene Cara was there,” she responded.  Curse of an excellent memory.  Her voice, my God her voice.  Of course she wanted to ride the modern roller coaster, I the old fashioned wooden one.  Note to self.  If overweight never wear Hawaiian shirts.  “Am I the fattest boyfriend you ever had?”  At a book store she picked up a giant, red, Webster dictionary.  I wasn’t going to let her be smarter than me.  I bought one too.  She laughed.  We could read each other’s thoughts.  Early breakfast at that café in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  Eggs benedict.  Who the fuck eats eggs benedict.  Tasted awful, not enough food, left me broke for a week.  Worth it.  It pleased her.  “Don’t look at me,” I commanded.  She was too beautiful to look at.  “Don’t look at me,” she said softly back.  Was I attractive to her as well?  I wonder.  So feminine.  So very feminine.  Everyone clapped as she walked across the floor to hand in our winning raffle ticket at the employee Christmas party.  Everyone hated me.  I couldn’t get it.  They clapped loud and sincerely.  They loved her.  How could they not.  The grace, beauty and intelligence wrapped in that elegant, long, winter coat – they knew.  How proud I was of her that night.  Of me with her.  Of us.  When does one stop loving someone?  Never.

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