The love of my life was named Autumn but she hated her name as much as I loved it. “It reminds me of everyone who has died, of everyone who has turned into gold leaves and stars,” she’d say every time I asked her why.
In 1992, her parents committed suicide in a Romeo-Juliet fashion. Her mother had never truly loved her father and her father had never loved anyone more than her mother. She was his reason to live and she had no reason to live. Of course, four-year-old Autumn should’ve been reason enough but you cannot expect reason from a person who knows no rhyme, a person who has never loved. Autumn had grown up with her grand-mother and she wouldn’t have missed her parents as much as she did if her granny had lived long enough. In school, Autumn’s best friend Aditi died of cancer. Her name was almost a foreshadowing for the thing that would fuck her up the most and she hated that.
She chose to find peace in other seasons. In summers, she did everything sunshine. Her only timetable was of what flavor of ice cream she’d eat on what day. She would wear crop tops and dance to the music of ’92. Beaches, tans, bike seats too hot to sit on – she experienced and enjoyed it all. Spring was when she’d take out her brown book and start sketching. She would sit in comfy pyjamas on her apartment building’s rooftop and sketch vases covered in pink flowers, t-shirts made out of roses, pizzas with sunflower toppings.
Winter was her favorite. She reserved the cold season for the strange habits she’d adopted from the dead. The only memory Autumn had of her mother was how she would lick the insides of coffee lids after the bottles had finished. From Aditi, she learned to read poetry to the moon and sing lullabies to the sun. For her grandmother, she cut her hair short and danced funnily to old songs (yes, Granny was cool).
Autumn asked me why I liked her name as often as I asked her why she didn’t. I asked because I wanted her answer to change someday. She asked because she needed to have a reason to love her name that didn’t remind her of the dead.
“just because it’s the name of the person I love the most.”