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Stay, don't leave, cos I've got a couple
of memories that float in a bubble
and they've stayed with me through oceans and puddles,
so faithfully, just waiting for trouble. 

Apollo - Noah Reid


It was easy when it was high school, and the boys from the all-boys' school paired up with the girls from the all-girls' school across town. It was easy when they went away to college together and shared a place. And it was easy hanging out together when they had no one else in a big, lonely city.

Rachel slotted into Patrick's life as though she'd always been there. And maybe she always would be. So it didn't make sense that that thought sort of scared him. That perhaps, for Patrick, she was it. The coveted 'one'. Something unpleasant settled in his stomach at the thought, but he was always careful not to dwell on it for too long. 

It wasn't easy though, for Patrick to kiss Rachel the way she deserved to be kissed, or make love to her the way she deserved to be made love to. Affectionate touches felt like obligations rather than temptation, and romance was simply shown through flowers and other meaningless gifts. She loved him in a way Patrick thought he could love her, but always just seemed out of reach. 

When things stopped being easy, that feeling in his stomach got harder to ignore. So instead he'd run away. Tell Rachel he needed space, and take off to the next town or the next city in the summer, and when the days grew darker and the colours of the leaves began to change, he'd let her back in because yes, he loved her. 

But every spring that love would die, and every summer he'd run to Calgary, or Montreal, or Chicago until it returned with the red of the leaves. The memories of her would start to haunt him, and he'd let her fall back into his life, and they'd continue on until things got a little too much for Patrick to handle once more. 

When he took his next break and ran to Toronto, things shifted. She continued her chase, the cat and mouse game they'd been playing all this time, but for the first time since they'd met, she hadn't remained faithful to him. It didn't bother him as much as he thought it should, and he really didn't want to think about why that was. Because all that mattered was he still came back, and she came back to meet him, and this is all it would ever be for them.

It couldn't keep going on like this.

So he bought a ring. 


'Cause all I see falling tomorrow,
is these apologies, all of 'em hollow,
and when the autumn leaves fall on Toronto,
you can follow me.