"A dam inside my own heart opened up, and the feelings of heaviness and unease lifted like wind against the winter sky. I loved him. I loved his slow wit and his gruff demeanor and his tender disposition. I loved his endless empathy and his world-weary cynicism and his innocence. I loved that he was a walking, breathing paradox. I loved his lank hair and his iron earring and the tooth missing at the back of his mouth. I loved the way he laughed, music incomparable to any song, and the way he smiled, like you could see the child in him and the animal in him and the man in him all at once. I loved that he listened to crappy music, the kind that made me want to put my head through a wall, and I loved the charcoal stains on his knuckles and the pencils he tucked behind his ears. I loved that he told me to shut up as though I could actually say anything. I loved that he made me feel as though I could. I loved his short fingers and his rough palms and his long legs and his flat belly. I loved that he liked to read Kerouac but didn't know how to pronounce Kerouac. I loved his brown skin and his blue tattoos and his tempestuous blue eyes. I loved that he loved the land. I loved him. I loved him. Oh, God. I loved him."