I fall for it every time. After all these years, you’d think that I would have learned to tell the difference between a commitment and a promise. They are not the same.
I guess that I just want to believe it so much that I am willing to completely push aside any sign to the contrary. I want to believe in the gentle caresses, the warm touch on my skin. I love giving in to the tingling sensations that ripple up and down my exposed shoulders and bare legs. I want to believe that it will last forever.
When I am enticed to stroll laughingly along in the sunshine and playfully enjoy its warm embrace, I am a believer. I am easy prey. I am in love, and I am in love with all of life and everybody in it.
I want to wear my prettiest dress for the occasion. I am excited to rearrange my closet and finally get rid of anything that reminds me of the sad, dark times. I want to bring out the things to wear for these happy occasions that we get to share and all the fun things we are going to do together. And I’m secretly yearning for the warm assurance that under the cover of darkness, it will all still be the same—that there won’t suddenly be a turn for the worst.
Everyone always tries to warn me, but I don’t want to listen. I don’t want to know. People just want to rain on your parade, to try and tell you that you can’t believe all those affectionate little caresses on your face and whispers in your hair. How do they know, anyway? They have been wrong plenty of times. I console myself with these thoughts. Why can’t this be a new beginning and the sign of something wonderful to come? Why can’t I trust this feeling? It makes me happy! I feel like laughing and not taking anything too seriously. Everything is lighter. And I feel lighter, too. I’ve lost my appetite and don’t need to live off anything but this wonderful feeling. It’s intoxicating!
And then it comes on without any warning at all. Out of the blue, I feel like things have cooled off. There is a sudden chill in the air that wasn’t there the day before or the day before that. Why am I getting the cold shoulder? What changed? I suddenly want to pull my sweater up tightly against my arms. I’m no longer feeling like getting dressed up and going out. I just want to stay in my PJs and in bed with a box of cookies. I only feel intoxicated because of all the wine I’m drinking to dim the feeling of betrayal. I’m depressed. And I don’t want to hear everyone gloating and saying, “I told you so!” I feel like such a fool! Like the groundhog, I just want to put my head back under the covers and hide for six more weeks. Instead, I have to go back into my closet and pull out all of my winter clothes again. I should have listened to everybody. Sometimes the weatherman is right.
I should know better by now. I should know that April is just a big tease. Just like some bad-boy lover, April really is the cruelest month. It’s such a flirt. And you can’t trust a flirt. You don’t take them seriously. Of course, that’s the beauty of flirting. It’s when you allow yourself to start thinking it’s for real that you get yourself into trouble. That’s when you get yourself hurt. You start believing those promises of sweet nothings whispered in your ear on the soft, warm, moonlit nights. That’s what April does to me. It makes me a believer.
I realize that I’m old enough that I should be on to this whole routine by now. But I’m a hopeless romantic. And I still believe in the rush of love at first light, when the warm days of April are really nothing but a series of one-night stands. Spring is not here for the long run. It just flirts with you a little bit and then vanishes without a trace, leaving you cold and longing for the comfort of your favorite worn-out sweater. Will I ever learn?
I hope not. I always have enjoyed a little flirting. And April is the biggest flirt of all.•