Maybe the first time you saw her you were ten. She was standing in the sun scratching her legs. Or tracing letters in the dirt with a stick. Her hair was being pulled. Or she was pulling someone’s hair. And a part of you was drawn to her, and a part of you resisted - wanting to ride off on your bicycle, kick a stone, remain uncomplicated. In the same breath you felt the strength of a man, and a self-pity that made you feel small and hurt. Part of you thought, Please don’t look at me. If you don’t, I can still turn away. Part of you thought, please look at me.
If you remember the first time you saw Alma, you also remember the last. She was shaking her head. Or disappearing across a field. Or through your window. Come back, Alma, you shouted. Come back! Come back!
But she didn’t.
And though you were grown up by then, you felt as lost as a child. And though your pride was broken, you felt as vast as your love for her. She was gone, and all that was left was the space where you’d grown around her, like a tree that grows around a fence.
For a long time, it remained hollow. Years, maybe. And when at last it was filled again, you knew that the new love you felt for a woman would have been impossible without Alma. If it weren’t for her, there would never have been an empty space, or the need to fill it.— Nicole Krauss, A History of Love (via somebodysaiditbetter)