I walked into your parents' house, my body almost begging for the familiar smells of you. Tide laundry detergent, tightly-packed mud in your soccer cleats, the scent of your neck, just behind your ear. I missed you the way I'd miss an appendage, phantom pain of something that once was. You weren't there--you'd been away at college for a couple months--but I visited your childhood home for something, I don't remember what. I really just wanted to be around anything you.
We broke up just before you left to college and you left the remnants of my heart scattered like a fading constellation in the Los Angeles sky. I wrote you long letters filled with cursive penmanship, you called me collect from your dorm pay phone, and we agreed to meet in November. That night in November, so many years ago, we sat under the stars at the Griffith Observatory and you promised to make the pieces of my constellation whole again.
Today is your birthday and I want to thank you for making me whole. Again. I don't wash your clothes with Tide, and your soccer cleats are packed away, but your scent? The familiar smell of you? It's still there, tucked just behind your ear. And all these years later, I'm thankful to build a universe of memories based on the amazingness of who you are.
Happy Birthday, my love.