It was the bluest sky I’d ever seen. People of every shape and color jostled us about as we made our way up the steep sidewalk, past markets and shops, fresh vegetables and brightly-colored fabrics spilling from doorways onto the street.
Small Mexican children tumbled past us in a blur, beggars shook our pockets for change and old Asian women, with skin that was deceptively smooth, shrewdly eyed the carrots and the ginger root. A cacophony of music poured from the crowded storefronts, at once drawing us in and pushing us out.
We were out of shape and out of breath, pressing on up the hill, our haggard breath marking us as visitors to this place. On this raucous, jumbled street it was easy to forget where you left off and the world around you began, the sounds and smells and sights becoming a part of you, an extended limb of yourself.
As we pushed our way through the dense crowd, he suddenly stopped. I turned to him and our eyes met and he was looking at me with a funny smile as he grabbed my hand.
“I think I’m always going to love you.”
Funny that of all the memories—all the perfect, beautiful memories and all of the ugly, painful ones too—that’s the only one that still tightens my throat and burns my eyes. I think it always will.