Thought Catalog
April 18, 2017

I’ll Never Stop Wondering What We Could Have Been

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Jiri Wagner

I wrote you a love letter once. I put it where the world could see, hoping you’d know that I can’t ever regret meeting you, only the timing. But stubbornness didn’t bring your lips to mine across 3,000 miles and grainy skype screens. It didn’t fight off the way I felt your life barreling forward with all your vibrant enthusiasm, and easily steering away from ever touching mine again. Wistful excitement – oxymoron are all I have to describe voluntary goodbyes to someone I didn’t want to lose, in the face of futures bright with giddy unknown.

As effortless and unexpected as we began, our farewell would be laborious and inevitable. You always told me to let you know when this became something I no longer wanted, when you became something I no longer wanted. What could I do when I didn’t stop wanting you, but couldn’t keep sustaining this? So I gathered up my words, letting silence saturate and spoil the ease of us. Transforming fluid conversation to brittle quiet. I knew you wouldn’t let me slip away in between the growing spaces, but you’ve always had to be the direct one – from the first kiss to this.

The last time we saw each other, you bought me an innocuous gift because you saw the way my eyes lit up as I tinkered with its spinning parts. An unexpected attachment that effortlessly became habit – I remember when you became the same. Now, I take it off every night, feeling the impression of it fading. This is the only metaphor I’ll allow to personify our goodbye.

You told me that you’d miss me. I told you that I already did. I started missing you the day I realized you had become not only something to lose but, an unavoidable loss.

I’ll still wear your ring because I’ve always had an imagination bigger than any unexpected reality. Quietly letting its weight keep you on the edge of my thoughts.

One day, I’ll have more time with this ring than I ever had with you. And maybe if you had stayed, we would’ve run out of things to say. Maybe I would have realized some odd thing or another was quite simply intolerable. More likely though, you’d have grown weary of me- my wandering mind, trite antics, and unpredictable mood swings.

Maybe if you had stayed, we would have left each other bitter, instead of better. But I still wear your ring. I still twist those roman numerals to the date you so effortlessly grabbed hold of my attention. We will always have this ellipses ending. Untainted with a reality too small for my imagination. TC mark

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