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Back to the Future (Kipling)

One of the difficult parts, perhaps even the most difficult for me, is the losing of the future you, as much as the losing of the person you are now. It's the knowing that the future you will not be coming for dinner this Sunday, or the next, or any other Sunday ever. The future you will not be setting up the game after, and reading out loud, with chuckles, the rules. The future you will not be cradling my head under your arm while the future me falls predictably asleep, during the movie. The future you will then not ensure the future me wakes back up to brush my future teeth. 

I will not know the smell of your future hair and the feel of your future breath on my neck while the future us sleep. There will be no future us sleeping. Only the future me, and the future you, in separate places. Apart. 

I will not know the topics of conversation that the future you will patter on about, as the future me drives through traffic, in a spring rain, or a cool fall day. The future me will not know the address where to take the future you or where to pick you up or have a key that fits the lock there. 

I will not be privy to the politics, opinions and humor of the future you. 

The future you and the future me will not visit somewhere a little more exotic than we had anticipated on our honeymoon and the future us will not get queasy on our first night there and go to bed early, groaning, instead of staying up to watch the meteor shower as we'd planned. And the future us won't tell everyone the lie that we stayed up all night to make wishes on the falling stars the night we were married. And that won't be our story to share, with our future kids and their future kids, until we die. Because there is no future us or future them. 

I will never again feel the familiar squeeze, the warmth, of your future hand in mine, as we take a walk around our future neighborhood, pointing out our favorite houses and cats and that lovely lemon tree backlit by a tangerine sunset. 

Will the future you have a pet? A child? That pet, that child, will not be shared with the future me. Any more than I share the pet or the child of the man two blocks down and three doors over. 

The future me will not watch as the future you grows older, takes a different job, starts jogging, woodworking, re-reads the classics. Nor will the future you compliment me on my new haircut, noticing, without comment, the thin strands of grey by my future ear. 

As it goes, the future me will slowly forget the fine details of the you I knew. And the you I knew will grow and change into the future you, the one I don't know at all. From this point on, anything us will be was. Past tense not future.