The wind gusted across the inner harbor and blew Lindsay’s hair across my face. The blonde wisps stuck there in my mouth, as I winced into the cold January wind. I tasted the bitterness of her conditioner momentarily before Lindsay pulled the strands back behind her ear and wrapped her arm around my waist and squeezed hard as we made the turn to cross the street.
The blast of a horn startled us both. We turned back to see the door of a city bus opening to us. The raspy voice of the elderly bus driver called above the harbor wind, “Hey there!” She had our attention with a large, partially toothless smile and a commanding voice. She tilted her head and called out, “I know she is holding on tight to you, but never let her go!”
We didn’t get a chance to respond before the door shut and our patronne went about her day, leaving us in the noisy wake of her bus. We just smiled at each other and turned our heads back into the harbor’s ceaseless winter wind. I don’t know what I would have said in response, and I certainly do not know what I would say now.
Maybe that was the last moment that we had been able to carelessly and easily hold onto each other. Lindsay and I were months away from our wedding, perhaps blissfully ignorant. I can’t quite put my finger on one thing or even a dozen things that went wrong. Our bus driving patronne maybe saw our future, or a version of it. As I write this, things are drastically different; different from that day, many years ago, and different from even just one year ago. And with all those differences, I still just want for us to be happy. The differences and, hopefully, the happiness come from learning to let go.