I loved her when I was little and singing along to Dirty Dancing in my underwear.

I loved her a year later when she kissed me for the first time in her basement. Don’t tell my brothers she whispered as I kissed her again, our lips barely opening at all as we did the only thing we knew how. Later that night, just as my mother pulled up outside to take me home, we kissed again, and this time I tasted her tongue for just a fleeting moment.

I love her in tenth grade when her boyfriend passed out from too many wine coolers and we went skinny dipping. Naked in the warm water of his heated pool we kissed once more, this time our hands touching everything at once. Her nipples hardened instantly and she jerked me off quietly with one eye always on the door to the house. Her cunt was wet and so soft I barely knew what to do as I pushed fingers inside, listening to her moans against my ear.

I love her in college when I came home to visit and we fucked for the first time. She bit my lip and tore at my clothes wanting to show me everything she had learned. I spent almost an hour between her legs, licking her slick cunt and working fingers inside her until I heard her come for the first time. When we fucked it was frantic and quickly completed. I came inside her even though I had never once had unprotected sex before. She cried when I went back to school, and neither of even asked if the other was dating.

I loved her at her wedding, crying along with her parents in the corner. She danced with me once and whispered sweet words in my ear as I struggled not to grab her ass, her new husband glaring at me from across the room.

I loved her after the accident and after my divorce years later.

I loved her the fifth time we fucked, her children sleeping upstairs in a room that now felt too big for her. It was the first time we ever spent a night and we didn’t sleep for a minute, not wanting it to end. We kissed and we laughed, wondering how we let our lives play out the way they had.

I loved her when she moved across country and when she went back to school. I loved her when years passed without a phone call, and I loved her when we tried to kiss at her graduation and ended up laughing instead.

I loved her when we found ourselves in the same city, our lives still separate and just as unlikely to truly entwine as ever, and I loved her through every heartbreak that lead us there. When she got sick I went to her each evening at the hospital, and when I lost my job she sent me money without her boyfriend knowing.

I loved for as long as I can remember. But maybe it was never quite enough.