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The first snow always reminds me of you and brings with it an intense melancholy. I can’t help but look out the window and be saddened by the thought of you 1000 miles away in the bed of someone that I don’t know.

Four years ago at this time we were just meeting for the first time. We were auditioning for Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. You thought that I was a terrible actress; knees shaking, fumbling over lines. I thought that you were pretentious and kind of nerdy. A couple months after the first snow, I fell in love and I didn’t know what to do with myself.

Three years ago at this time you loved me and I loved you and nothing was wrong, but nothing was right either. We spent exactly one Christmas together, which seems too few looking back. The first snow was magical, and it was the only time that month that everything felt perfect, and right. I was so excited, rushed you up the stairs at Midnight. We kissed in the middle of the street, imitating a movie. It was as cinematic as anything has ever been in my life.

Two years ago at this time you were introducing someone new to your grandmother. The snow was falling and I was alone and you were not. I dated a boy that winter, but there was no kissing in the falling snow. Instead I was walking home in -15 degree weather at seven in the morning. I was watching the snow fall from one window and you were watching the snow fall from another and that seemed unfair.

One year ago at this time I was 1000 miles away in a dorm room that wasn’t your dorm room. Instead of kissing in the snow we had a dance party over Skype. Instead of hot chocolate in the mornings we were texting each other “I miss you” and playing phone tag. I cried the night of the first snow, unable to see you, to touch you, to see the snow in your hair. We spent that Christmas together, but nothing was right, and everything seemed wrong. You ended it on New Year’s Eve. You told me you didn’t know if you loved me anymore or just the idea of me. We parked in a grocery store parking lot and all I could see through my tears were the snowflakes outside the window, some glimmer of hope, or nostalgia, or fear.

Today the snow is falling and I am on a bus and I am thinking of you. Everyone is excited—the beginning of winter, the arrival of Thanksgiving. I am happy now. I am in love and I am secure. He is kind and thoughtful, and funny and talented. But I am thinking of you as the snow falls. I do not miss our relationship with its flaws and its fights. But as I watch the snow I am overcome with sadness that I haven’t heard from you in months. I am upset that I don’t know you anymore. The snow is falling and this year it isn’t our snow. And maybe it’s not you that I miss but rather the idea of you that I’ve spent four years creating as I look out the window and watch the first snowfall.

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