Tag Archives: love story

Dylan’s Street

The light on 4th Plain turned red as Johanna pushed the brake pedal in slowly, stopping two cars short of the intersection. Her young daughter chattered nonsense in the backseat and cars began to pile in line, awaiting the signal change. For the expanse of time each year Johanna visited back home, she tried not to drive down this particular stretch of pavement – not close enough to Dylan’s place that she might actually run into him, anyway – but this day, the trek near Falk Road could not be avoided. Realizing how close she was to his house still counting seconds until green, she happened to glance towards the car at her left. A white car, familiar somehow…

Her heart immediately clogged her throat when she saw it was him. Of all the cars on this road… what time is it…?! She wondered if it was real; frantic as if she were staring down a ghost, a million thoughts flooded her brain in a single instant. Fate ushered in the moment she had been waiting for years too long – rather than question it worthlessly, she quickly embraced the opportunity. Rolling down the window, she waved her hand wildly until he turned his head her way. “Dylan!” Widely smiling, ear-to-ear, she called his name.

His face lit up like the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, as if a million times he had sat at that light, thinking of Johanna, and finally she appeared to him from a daydream. Dylan’s smile overcame every line on his face, his unkempt hair unlovingly cloaked by a white bandana, and his overworked, dirty hands white-knuckling the steering wheel; he gazed across at his long lost lover, a simple opening of a passenger car door away. He studied her face for what felt to both like years, but each quickly realized they had mere seconds remaining before the light changed again.

“I… umm… Hi! This is my daughter, can you see her? Her name is Sophie! And, I… I’m single! How are you?!” She blurted, each word probably sounding as incoherent and overwhelmed as she felt inside.

“No, you’re not!…??” He paused, allowing the response to linger between them as Johanna nodded yes back his way. She immediately recognized the gaze of defeated sadness in his eyes at the notion of it, “Well, I am married,” his words hung in the air challenging serendipity to steal his truth away so she could be his again.

“Well then, so we have it?” Johanna insisted, pleading through every second as it passed, craving so much more than stoplight pleasantries. Somewhere close to the surface, she hoped this revelation would spark in him the desire to get closer, by any means necessary. That he would realize it was time for them to try things new again, together. She hoped, but feared to speak it, that he would not let her go this time. There was so much between them but no time to explore it; the awkward, intrusive pace of their encounter left much to be desired.

The light cared not for two people with so much more to say to one another. The green glowing orb cared only to usher vehicles through its four-way stop, sending Dylan home to the house on Falk, and she on down the road. Neither noticed it at first, but instead remained stargazing ex-lovers, so lost in the surreal temptation of a brief, chance meeting. As the seconds ticked, Johanna studied his smile – it never wavered for a moment – and she began to yearn for him beside her in a way that caused great strife. Does he want me, too? She wondered.

No other words were shared between them that day. Perhaps it was fear, or nerves, or maybe, it was the call to another life with someone else that finally bought out longing for an old flame. Maybe… Johanna thought, this was for the best. Dylan was the first to realize the light had turned. He quickly pardoned the tension between them with a shrug of the shoulders as he smiled helplessly. He halted just long enough for Johanna to have no other choice, by way of the honking cars behind her, to pull ahead. He made his way behind her, having to turn right just two blocks down, and Johanna watched him in the rear view mirror as he faded away into a mirage.

She wanted to careen around the next bend, even if she had to drive atop a curb. She wanted to wildly race onto that familiar street, onto that familiar driveway, behind that same white Impala, to the same tall, handsome boy who once stole her heart the day he asked her if he could kiss her. She felt the tears well up in her eyes, and felt the lump in her throat tighten, making each breathe more difficult than the last. Sophie giggled carelessly from her carseat, completely and blissfully unaware of her mother’s torment, this only making the sting of the moment more real, His life is not my business anymore… I’ve got my daughter. . . I can’t just stop my life and beg him to take me back…  Johanna began to question every decision she had made up until that moment, but wanted nothing more than to once again be the woman Dylan came home to after work.

As she drove on, she wondered what he was feeling. What he would tell his wife if she asked what was bothering him. Johanna had wondered many times if she even knew about the girl he gave his whole heart to just years before they met…

Dylan pulled his car right onto Falk Road, and then soon after turned left to the gravel driveway where he called home. Good, they are in the house, he thought. His head rested back against the seat behind him, his hands still digging deeply into the steering wheel. He closed his eyes and convinced himself, in an instant, that it was best not to tell his wife whom it was he ran into just minutes before arriving home but he knew he would have to steel his nerves. Before he could get up, his body weighing heavy with the burden of long buried emotions boiling now just below the surface, he took several long, deep breaths. With eyes still closed, he recalled so easily her face again. He then remembered how it had been hard before this moment to conjure her so vividly, and he was thankful for the reminder and yet cursed it all the same. Just a single photograph that he kept in a box in the garage brought her back to him, and since Sara found it when she moved in, that picture of a face he once loved so dearly was hardly ever retrieved anymore.

Startled from his thoughts, Dylan heard Sara’s voice and tapping on the rolled up driver’s window. He had not realized how much time had lapsed or how long she had been watching him, but there she stood. She held their son in her arms, a bright-eyed bouncy boy they named Caleb – so happy to see Daddy home again. She smiled at him, curiously, and with a heavy accent asked him, “Are you okay?”

Dylan said nothing – intense force shoved his emotions down deep again – he gathered his things and then pulled himself out of the car. He kissed Sara on the cheek, plucked his son from her arms, and headed for the steps towards the front door all the while avoiding her gaze; she thought this unusual, and Dylan knew she had picked up on something unsaid. Dinner was cooking, he could smell it on the stove once he walked in to their home, and it had been cleaned top-to-bottom. Sara closed the door behind them, closely watching her husband from a reasonable distance, studying the way he avoided her gaze, and the puckered, swollen lips he always had when they both knew he was not sharing something he thought or felt.

Asking nothing more, she decided it was not worth pushing the issue, thinking, perhaps, there wasn’t one after all, all the while making a mental note to watch him more closely that night. She busied herself in the kitchen, tended to her rambunctious child, and noted the time, “4:23 pm.”

He untied each boot carefully behind the closed door of their bedroom, removing it to set in the same spot he placed it every day before. Meticulous, he went over every detail of the encounter that rocked his world just minutes before. As amazing as it was just to behold her again, he began to dread the ensuing emotions he knew would linger, much as they did each time they saw each other before she moved away all those years before. He knew she would haunt his dreams for a month, and he knew he would question his entire life, even briefly, for just merely entertaining the notion of leaving everything behind to see her again. Most of all he cursed Johanna because he knew that his love for her would endure, because there it was again, nearly 4 and a half years later, sweltering back in his heart as if it had never left. Dylan did not realize it until he looked up from his feet into the mirrored closet doors – he had been crying. He stared at his reflection for a few minutes, talking silently to himself, pull it together, Dylan. Let it go. She is not worth i… He began to lie to himself but felt it sting deeply for he knew it was not true. If you love her, you let her go. This his final contemplation before standing, wiping his cheeks, and grabbing his red striped robe for a shower.

His feelings so overwhelming though he tried to hide it – how much he hated that he ever knew her name at all, he avoided Sara’s gaze yet again as he passed her for the bathroom. Thinking to himself the shame it was that he ever fell in love one October night under cool night air on the porch as they gazed up at the moon, his arms wrapped tightly around a beautiful woman 3 years younger. That he ever built a life with her only to watch it all fall apart… It was all a bad dream because, after finding the love of his life, he let her go. For nearly five years he held it together, at least enough to build a new life with someone else.

He loved Sara, of that he was sure, and their son – the spitting image of his father – brought meaning into Dylan’s heart the likes of which he had never known. Having been fatherless himself, he reveled in the work of parenting, and did anything for his child. Including marrying his child’s mother so they could be a family on the same continent. Dylan never questioned his life, not ever, unless he was thinking about her… These visions of Johanna, he knew for sure, would be cause for lost sleep tonight.

///

I wrestle with memories like this only when I am absolutely forced to. For the foundation of this writing, and because I had a specific creative spark in me tonight, I feel like I owe it to Johanna to tell the story the way she remembers it, or if these things are not her memories, but fictitious things perhaps thought [or not] by him, at least the sentiment would be ever quite as sweet. I remember this way because that is what makes good writing. Something relatable. Something pure, and true.

I would have chased his car home, because I knew the way. I would have raced up to the doorway and knocked until anyone answered. I would have done whatever I could to ensure he knew everything I felt like saying but did not have the time to do so – like lyrics to a song I just discovered that says it perfectly, “I could have told you that I loved you and stayed around to kindle the fire, but I was late on my return and now you’ve lost all faith.” I would have done all of this, on that day, when I saw him just mere feet from me…

But, though at times I still regret it (though I am working on this, I assure you) that was not the life I was destined to live.

Had I bulled over there and professed my undying love for him his life would have been ruined in a way, perhaps, worse than mine was all those years before. Had I done that, I would have forced him to choose a wife over an old fiancé. I would have forced him to choose a family over a broken home. And I would have forced myself into the pigeon hole of finally knowing that, indeed, he would really choose them over me, and that is the fear underlying any lost love, is it not? Once that person moves on, even if there are still things undone with any former love, they are making a choice to let that go and focus their love on someone else. Though I wanted to tell him to pick me, choose me, love me, I would have known, for sure, that he did not – in fact – pick me, choose me, or love me anymore.

Though I know that, because the truth is evidenced in the reality of both our lives, it would have hurt to hear it, see it, and experience it. It would have hurt to make him feel he owed me anything, even one last goodbye outside of locked car doors and rolled down windows at a stoplight. It would have hurt to see him walk away again without so much as one last final glance back my way.

So, in that way, I suppose it is best that the very last time I saw Timothy Lee was at a stoplight on 4th Plain. I suppose that it is best I know nothing about his life now, though there are times I am not sure why it is “best” that way.

John has asked me before what I would do if he just showed up one day, asked me to talk… What I would do if I had that chance. First thing I told him was I would love that chance, but it is as likely as me winning the Texas lottery. Second thing I said was, “I’d probably yell at him for five minutes, tell him I never want to see him again, and then ask him to hold me…” (A great, honest mix of emotions you would only understand if you knew the context in which John asked me this – but that part I leave out because it is between him and I alone).

The truth is, aside from the obvious (that I would want to talk about life, and the past, to finally have “closure”) is that I am not really sure…

If that day, I had more than just maybe a minute and a half at a stoplight in which to talk to him, spend space and time in his proximity, I would have wanted more from him than he could give. I would have wanted him to love me the way he did back when. . .

Now though, now… After going through SO MUCH life of my own… Two marriages and the ensuing separations and those two little rascals I call children; throw all this in a blender and what do you have? Perspective. Life experience. The blunt, honest truth about life, the way it happens to you as you get older… Add to that what happened between Tim and I, and all the many, many years it took for me to simply be able to deal with that end, and losing him, well, I guess you could say I would only want to know if he is still able to believe in love the way he did back when he loved me. I would ask him about his family, and tell him about mine. He would ask how I do since my mother died, and the pain and guilt would still be between us, but we would work through it. There would heavy, difficult silence when we are not sure what else to say. . . LifeLongAgo.jpg

Most of all, I hope I could look across the table at him, smell his cologne, and see him smile, and not want to be in love with him again. I would hope he could give me the same gift.

The gift of freedom. The gift of honoring who and what we were – each others first love – and then, just as quickly as we met, fell in love, and lost each other, only then, these nearly 8 years later, we could finally, wholly let each other go.

 

Just like the night

“We can put them like this…” She said, pointing down to the cobblestones dismantled and awaiting new arrangement. Bent down in a squat, her head looked up towards him using one hand to shield the sun from her eyes. Dylan held the handles of the wheelbarrow and asked once more about her idea for the yard, just to make sure he got it right. “Yep! We are going to have the best backyard on the street when we are done!” Johanna exclaimed, playfully, knowing he would smile and cheerfully agree.

The early morning rays of sun shone brightly through the leaves of the black locust tree, warming Dylan’s freckled shoulders underneath his overall straps. The bandana around his head quickly soaked up the sweat as he bent down, pulled up stones, and piled them into the heap beside Johanna. She arranged them carefully in a new pattern around the base of the old tree, occasionally distracting herself from the pleasant work by simply gazing between the man busy in his task and the work they were doing together.

Dylan paused as a breeze kicked up through the branches above them, as if the wind itself beckoned him to cherish this moment for more than mere yard-work on a Sunday afternoon. He reached out and stroked tenderly Johanna’s cheek, moved from his perch to close beside her, and came in for a kiss. The dirt on his fingers smeared into her face but the coolness of it only added to the sweet gesture.

“What was that for?” She asked, finally coming up for air.

“I just love you,” he said, softly. “We have fun, you know?” His eyebrows arched, his lips curled into a smile, and he reached in his pocket for a smoke. He balanced on his feet and rested his arms upon his knees. She studied his pose and memorized the way he looked.

Johanna melted into the seconds as they fleetingly passed around them, wishing she could slow time or stop it altogether, just to capture his face and how his eyes truly shined with such peaceful, purposeful love. “Come on,” she beckoned, grabbing his hand in hers and lifting them both to their feet. Without another spoken word between them, the next hour washed them both in passionate love, and in his arms Johanna felt a sense of belonging she had not experienced before.

Laying in his arms, twirling his chest hair between her fingers, Johanna stared up at the man she loved. “We are so young still, Dylan, how do you know this is going to last?”

“How do I know we’re going to last?” He responded, briefly removing his hands from her hair to use them for gesturing, “That is simple… Because you’re my best friend.” He smiled, revealing that perfect happy face that still made her melt – when she knew he loved her purely – his eyes would curl up and his entire body would shake as he laughed it off.

She removed her gaze from his and caught a glimpse of her dirt-stained fingernails as they moved across his chest. Sighing to herself, she then focused on the life they dreamed of building. Simple enough, really.

“All we need is love, music, and dirt to till.” Matter-of-fact she spoke these words aloud, cleaning the grime from her hands.

He leaned up just far enough to make her take notice, and when her eyes caught his again, he was practically sitting up in the bed, almost making her fall right off his chest. Johanna positioned herself directly in front of him and asked if everything was okay. Dylan softly whispered, “yeah, little butt, everything is perfect. I just want to look at you…”

She sat there, almost timid, unnerved by the direct attention even after convincing herself she was used to it by now. Without another syllable uttered from his mouth, Dylan moved in closer to his girl, pressed both hands against her face, and kissed her so she felt it in her bones. He pushed her backwards, causing her to fall in a cascade of sheets onto the bed, and then he moved himself beside her, one hand still flush against her cheek.

For hours they remained here, sharing between them few words, but saying more than words could convey even in their grandest finery. She knew in moments like this that he wanted nothing but her, and he allowed himself the surrender to whole love, and both enjoyed the ease of it all.

My fingers are no longer dirt-stained, and it has been years since I was that young woman on that bed. The bed he built for me from a snow storm and fallen branches of that same locust tree. It has been years since I felt the touch of my first love on my skin, or smelled the scent of his neck. I have not since those days seen the black oil on his hands after work or watched in agony as he dug metal chips from his sore fingers. In all fairness to reality, can I even say I still know the man at all?

And yet, sorely as if recovering from an injury that I fear may become chronic, I still feel as though Dylan is a part of me somehow. His life is his own, and the journey beyond our season of love has been one Johanna is not privy to; I know nothing of his daily routine, or even of the dreams he now holds dear. Could I venture to guess they are the same? A life of love, passion, wisdom, science, and the never-ceasing quest for the perfect guitar riff?

He knows nothing of me. He has never seen me mother my children or wiped the tears away when I struggled. I wear the same perfume as I did then – does he smell it when a woman walks by and remember the girl he used to love? Simple questions full of undertones that most people dare not ever venture into, let alone mention candidly.

Yet, I find a peaceful surrender to these memories helps me cope with the reality that I no longer know the man I once gave my whole heart to. It helps me to remember he was real, and that our love was real, and even in short reprieves from the positive memories – when I recall the hard ones – I still would rather share my story of love, laughter, and passion than to pretend – for the sake of making some people uncomfortable – that it never happened.

It is rare I see a certain flower, or hear a certain song… hell, some days it merely takes the mention of a word arranged in the correct order – I am there again, and I remember how I became Johanna as a young woman. I appreciate what our love taught me, and that it meant something so dear. I value the dirt-stained days of yard work, garage music, and porch kisses. I value that I am aware enough to revere those days, because they create a sense of understanding that, if I want it, I can achieve the same peace in love in the future.

Dylan is my blueprint. The precipice on which to stand and ask myself if love is truly love, or if the mere fact that it was better with him means I have more searching to do. He was my favorite memory and my recurring dream…

But, alas, what I have learned most of all, having loved that blue-eyed man, is that…

My best memories are behind me, but my best days are ahead of me.

At least, that is the goal. That is what I hope to achieve by writing this.

We only get so much love in a lifetime, and many people cope with the loss of that love by pretending it never happened. Is that not the easier solution than to feel the loss and hurt? Is it not more prudent to say it did not mean that much, did not feel that good, or did not change you – rather than to accept something you had, that you valued greatly, is merely but a memory now?

I cannot operate this way, and I make no apologies for that. My mold is different, perhaps; but ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet? If not, these visions of Johanna will keep you up past the dawn. Embrace it, dear lovers, even you who lost. For having felt this fire and passion, longing and desire, tenderness and truth… Having felt the pain and loss, the wishful nights begging to forget it… It means you lived, and caught a true glimpse of something rare. I write because I realize my treasure. For it is mine to hold, and mine to share. All great stories must be told, and Dylan is the beginning of mine.

Visions for Johanna

Occasionally, life throws a moment in time so beautiful you know even before it vanishes that this is something to remember. Nuances become vivid details that accompany the façade of a memory; nothing escapes from the photograph in your mind – time passes far beyond the moment, yes, but leaves nothing behind and carries it within the heart, by a song that was playing then or a smell from a shirt collar as a stranger waft by… By way not of conscious thought or material mementos, where I find myself tonight is in the framework of a life so long ago lived that though I recall it well, I converse with my memory still, trying to convince myself these recollections were indeed real. Can a heart, so willfully trying to move past a memory, ever fully embrace the present if a beautiful memory returns so easily?

The bus route made a straight line down 4th Plain, stopping frequently, but managing to make decent time consistently; he narrowed each stop down to seconds after a week of riding and knew from pick-up to drop-off it was typically only 7 minutes. On this morning, however, each mere second seemed to pass a thousand times slower – Come on… come onhurry up! He thought to himself as one foot began to writhe up and down frantically, sending his knee into noticeable unrest. Mumbling under his breath he paid no mind to the woman across the row who had been staring at him since he got on, “She’s going to be gone if you do not hurry up!”

9:36am, November 6th 2003

Johanna roused from sleep and quickly wondered the time. Unsure of the layout of the room, she peeked around for a clock, satisfied that it was still early enough to stay in bed. Resting her head back on the pillow, she curled her arms up underneath the soft cotton to support her head and smiled to herself, pleased with the way the night had gone. I love him. Surprised by the thought but only briefly, something about it felt natural and easy, as if nothing need forcing but the pause of time to make this day go on forever. She did not care that her hair was a wreck or that she needed to shower. She did not care that her roommates would wonder why she never came home, or that her mother would soon be calling in need of a morning pep-talk. Johanna had one thing racing through her mind, on her skin, and in her heart.

He skipped off the bus on the corner of Falk and 4th, unsure if his feet could run as fast as his heart needed them to go. He had no clue whether she would still be there, but hoped, like all young lovers do, that fate would step in and deal him a delicious treat. A half a block moves swiftly under determined feet – he arrived on his front porch step, straightened himself up, caught breath, and quietly unlocked the deadbolt, turning his head over his shoulder with a twinkle in his eye, “her car is still here…

She heard the keys hit the round table in the kitchen, perked up instantly, and felt her entire body radiate with anticipation. Quickly, she manipulated her body to appear most appealing, now quite self-conscious that she hadn’t brushed her teeth or made up her face. Before dwelling too much, she caught a glimpse of him through the cracked bedroom door. He unzipped his Carhart jacket, removed his beanie, and momentarily disappeared from sight before appearing in the doorway, opening it slowly apparently trying not to disturb his guest.

“You’re awake?” He said, softly, smiling, once his wide-eyed gaze found her brown eyes peering from a glowing face atop the pillow.

“You’re home?” She replied, unsure why a full-time machinist would be home before 10 on a weekday.

“My boss let me go early – we do not have any chain due until Monday – I told him there was a girl at my house and he let me leave.” As he spoke, he began to untie his steel-toed boots, never removing his gaze from hers. He pulled his shirt over his head and unbelted his jeans, leaving only underwear on. Without a word, he pulled the blanket aside and curled up close to the girl he had met only weeks before. She turned her face up from the pillow, barely able to control the huge smile on her face from swallowing her whole, and then reached a hand up to cup his face close to hers.

“I am so glad you came home. I do not have to work until 3 – how about we just stay in bed?” Johanna felt his head shake in agreement and noticed the sensation of his face tense up against hers and it did not take her long to realize he was smiling.

1:07pm

Hours of conversation and enough kissing to dehydrate them both, and it was evident to both Dylan and Johanna that this was something special. Each took turns sharing stories of youth and the misery of adolescence. He told her all about his childhood with a hardworking mother and mentioned the father he never met; she recalled tree forts, bb-gun wars, and fishing trips with siblings. He teased her for not yet acquiring a taste for coffee, and she told him how much she would love to have a garden where they could grow all their own food. They talked and kissed, and kissed and talked, and even spent hours that were only mere minutes just staring at one another, completely in awe that the other actually existed.

Johanna whispered into his ear after staring into his blue eyes, “I have a secret…” she teased, waiting for his reaction.

“I love you, Johanna.” As if he had never said those words to another soul on earth, he let each letter escape his lips like a chick tentatively breaks free from his hard shell. As he whispered those 4 words, his cheeks flushed and his lips swelled up, almost like tears were the next thing to come flowing out of him…

“I love you too, Dylan.” She ingested his words – the raw, engaging emotion of them – and no longer secret, nevermore, said at last yet so quickly that she, indeed, loved him, too.

Dylan pulled her in close, completely breathing her so deep inside of his heart that in that moment he knew this would be something to remember for a lifetime. Johanna melted into his embrace, surrendering for the first time in her life to real love.

2:30pm

“I have to go now, Dylan, I have to go!” She laughed at his insistence to skip work entirely, careless that she was wearing the same clothes as the day before. She had used his toothbrush, combed her blonde hair, and then had to will herself to walk down the two porch steps to the gravel driveway. She held his hand as he escorted her to her old gray Nissan, poured her belongings onto the backseat, and finally turned around to steal another kiss before driving away without him.

He first kissed her forehead, gently, tenderly, and then she felt his hand ease up behind her head while one thumb slid beneath her chin; he used his hand to turn her face up towards his and then kissed her deeply. For the first time in Johanna’s life, she felt completely safe and sure in the arms of a man. For the first time in his life, he believed in fate and destiny and thanked the cosmos for aligning the stars so perfectly the night they met.

Pulling back, sure then she would already be late for work, she looked up into Dylan’s eyes and said, confidently but with as much honey as she could muster, “Dylan, I have to go… I… I love you.”

“Don’t go… Stay with me?” He whimpered back, beckoning her not with persistence but with the simple truth between them that nothing in life was going to make sense from that moment forward unless they were together. Johanna brushed his wayward hair off his forehead, sighed at the handsome man before her, pulled back and managed to get her car door opened and then sat in the driver’s seat. She closed the door but rolled down the window…

I am coming over after work, right?” She urged him to say yes, knowing they had not once talked about what would happen between them from this day on. Johanna was sure of one thing – they loved each other; it was imperfectly serendipitous, organic and heartfelt, and it did not require planning but instead the absolute surrender to passion and fate.

Sighing heavily, Dylan shook his head in agreement, not wanting to see her car back out of his driveway. He relished the idea of having someone to love, but cursed the afternoon for leaving him without her.

Memories.

I have met many new dawns since that day. My lips kissed other lovers, tasted bitter endings,and felt the harsh sting of trial after trial. I realize life changes, people change, and perhaps have grown rather cynical about everlasting love in general – based solely off the speculation that most people are decent until faulted otherwise; all do falter, eventually, so why love now like I loved then? Risk. Risk with little reward.

So I thought… But that is a chapter for another day.

Where Dylan and Johanna wrote history is in the innocence of it all.

That is why these memories stick, though I find ample frustration that, indeed, I do remember it so well. From oranges and freezer pops to falling in the shower. From the first “I love you” of my life to the sweetest afternoons of gardening one can imagine. It was beautiful, and I remember.

Life, for me, is a complex array of emotions countered by thoughts wrapped up in one big hope that it will all be meaningful, at once or occasionally, sometime in my life. I choose not to erase these moments but to engrave them ever-deeply in my soul, so that I remember what it was to love greatly, and to have greatness in love again.

The present is beautiful in itself these days, though quite different than anything I ever imagined. But then, for Johanna and Dylan, their love story did not go anything like they hoped that day they spent in bed. Then again, is that not life for all of us? I just happen to write about it is all…