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Back then

One day years from now, you’ll ask me how the world used to be, back then.

I’ll tell you we used to dream, oh how we’d dream. We’d dream of all the places we’d go, and the things we’d see. We didn’t lay awake, unable to close our eyes and minds to the day’s horrors. We dreamed freely, and peacefully, back when freedom and peace didn’t feel like a dream.

I’ll tell you we used to plan, oh how we’d plan. For the weekend, for the next month, for the years ahead. We didn’t leave room for what if’s or but when’s. We didn’t monitor movements. Back when the only hot spots were holiday destinations, we had big plans for us, my love. 

I’ll tell you we used to laugh, oh how we’d laugh. On dancefloors at pubs, or at parties with friends. We didn’t keep to ourselves or avoid gazes. We’d share smiles with real faces in real time, not just with emojis. Back when we were connected by more than computer screens, we lived and loved fiercely. 

I’ll tell you we used to breathe, oh how we’d breathe. We weren’t stifled by masks or holding our breath in fear. We breathed easily, fully, every inch of it all. And if I knew then where we’d be now, I’d have breathed deeper still. Back when the air felt fresh, and didn’t carry the stench of a slowly dying planet.

I’ll tell you we used to be lighter, oh how light we felt. We weren’t weighed down by expectation, by fear, by mistrust, or misplaced anger. We weren’t anxiously trying to hold our lives together as they crumbled around us. Back when ‘keeping it together’ simply meant ticking off to-do’s before the day’s end.

My love, I’ll tell you that when the world burned in front of our eyes, we were some of the lucky ones. Oh how lucky we were. Because when everything changed, and all certainty was lost, there was you.

When I forgot how to dream, you dreamed for me.

When I couldn’t breathe, you let me breathe you in.

When my heart started to sink with the weight of it all, you gave me something to hold onto.

The world might be a little different now, but one thing remains true.

Back then, you were my constant. You gave me purpose. You gave me strength.

You gave me hope for a better future, my love, you still do.

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