August appears in its time. I look back upon our first summer together, and my memories of massaging cream into his callused hands each night. He encourages me to quit my job at the drugstore to pursue my painting full-time. He says he’s set some money aside. When I protest, suddenly his lips are mine…I place a down comforter on the bed that he built for us. As the leaves turn, I encourage him to build the furniture he’s always drawing on the paper napkins I buy for mealtime. He protests. Before he leaves for work in the morning, I give him his thermos of coffee and a note that reads, You must build…for me. With the first snow, I prepare warm homemade chili for him to take in his thermos to his new rented workspace. I sell paintings online in vibrant fuchsia and blue. I have been promoted at the drugstore. “This winter will be spring,” I tell him. He doesn’t protest. Instead, his soft hands hold my face and he gazes.