The moment she kissed him for the first time, she knew they were not going to last. Every second with him felt like a firework; amazing, explosive, beautifully earth-shaking, each time more brilliant than the one before. Being in love with him was an exhilarating ride, and she could never seem to catch her breath. But rides and fireworks are finite things, and surely this unsurpassably incandescent love would be similarly ephemeral. It was perfect, drops of sugar on her tongue, and she stored them away as best she was able for the moment that they would stop coming. She smiled and laughed and told him her dreams, savoring the feel of his arms around her. Every day she would see the love in his eyes, and she would hold back a sob of relief because it was still there. Every night she’d clutch his love to her heart and pray that it would still be there tomorrow. Just a little longer, she begged. Please, only another day. Needless to say, she was not at all surprised when they broke up. She had sort of initiated it, but it had been mutual in the end. Afterward, she felt a miserable sort of relief. It was only much later—and far, far too late—that she was overtaken by regret. By that time she could not contact him, and it was cruel to imagine what they could have been. Her heart took thirty years to heal enough to love again. And then her phone rang, and it was his voice on the other end of the call. And when they kissed again for the first time, she was finally able to see a way forward together.
The moment he kissed her for the first time, he knew they would be together forever. Which sounded hopelessly sappy, but the truth of it echoed in his soul. They were opposites, but they were so magnetic, and they clicked. She filled in all his missing pieces, and his heart was whole. They were jubilant; excited and happy and perfect as could be. Whenever he thought of her, it was as a beautiful memory: clasped hands warm, summer evening illuminated by her brilliant smile. Needless to say, he was shocked when they broke up. It was mutual, but only barely—and only because if his heart was going to be broken, then at least he’d keep his pride. He spent sleepless nights wondering what had gone wrong, trying to puzzle out what he should have done differently. He daydreamed about ways for them to get back together, fantasized about once again holding her in his arms. He still saw her sometimes, out of the corners of his eyes, and she was always smiling. Perhaps, he thought, she is happy to be rid of me. He had tried calling her, once; she had blocked his number. He never attempted to contact her again. Well, not quite never—never is a long time. The next time he tried calling her, everything was different. It was thirty years later; he’d married and divorced and had two children, now grown. He was older and sadder and wiser and somehow hopeful. And she picked up. The first conversation was all awkward pleasantries. Their new first meeting was better—she was different but still radiant, and it was unfair how still in love he was. At the end of the third meeting, they kissed again. It was his second first time, and he wouldn’t have traded it for the world.