St. Olaf Sentiments: Ode to large hot apple cider

Dear Large Hot Apple Cider,

It’s time we finally sat down and talked about this… whatever it is that’s been going on recently. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our fun, and these past few weeks have been good. No, they’ve been great. I’m just not sure that I can keep doing this, if I can keep pretending that nothing has changed during the year you were gone. I don’t think I have it in me. Please, will you listen? Will you just give me a chance to speak my piece?

Good.

When you came back to me, I was ecstatic. I remembered everything about you that I loved so much: your warmth, your smell, the way you fit perfectly into my cupped hands, that sticky taste of caramel that would cling to the back of my throat. I remembered our late night walks in the quad and how you’d always be there for me when I needed to study for an exam or just settle in for the night. Even seeing you with other people never bothered me. You always had enough love to give, and you were always there when I needed you.

Until you weren’t. One day, you just up and left without a word of goodbye, without even a note. You must have known how that would hurt me. I was so sure that you were just out of stock, or that the Cage worker had forgotten your number. But no, you were gone, leaving only a few empty cups on my desk to remember you by. I still have them, by the way, if you ever want to pick them up.

I just… I don’t know why you had to leave. Was it me? Did you hate the winter so much that you couldn’t stick it out for even a few months? I’d already picked out the new thermos I was going to get you for Christmas. You know I always loved you in red.

Look, I don’t want you to think that I’ve been hung up on you all this time. I want to believe that I’m different now, that I’m not the same guy you left. I try to tell myself that there are other drinks on the menu. I got together with Peppermint Cocoa for a while, and I had a summer fling with Iced Mocha. But Peppermint was always too sweet and Iced was always so cold. Really, neither of them ever filled the hole you left. Whenever I was with them, I was always thinking of you.

What can I do for you?! Do you want me to call Pumpkin Pie over to join us? I know you always loved being around him. I can wear more sweaters and pile up some fallen leaves to jump in. I’ve even put some decorative gourds in a woven basket. Is that what you want? You’re just a drink for God’s sake! You’re served in a paper cup!

Wait. I didn’t mean that. Please. Let’s just start fresh and pretend this never happened. Maybe I overreacted. It’s just that I love you, and I didn’t know it until you were gone. I’m willing to start over and take things slow. After all, it’s only October.

Would you like that? Come on, how about a drink? Extra caramel please.

Love, John

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