“Why can’t you just let go?”
Whether it was out of concern, confusion, or sheer frustration, there wasn’t one person that knew our story who hadn’t dealt me this question at least once. I had drunkenly screamed the same thing at myself in the mirror at two in the morning, tears streaming down my face. Even you began asking this dreaded question of me as our conversations evolved into arguments and the distance between us grew larger.
It has been months now since we’ve spoken, and after many sleepless nights and failed attempts at rediscovering who I was before we met, I still haven’t been able to draft up the perfect response to the question that I so desperately needed answered. But I think I have a start.
I don’t want you to be my story, the one that I reluctantly share with my next lover as my body shakes and tears roll down my face.
I don’t want your name to be the one that every other man who falls in love with me curses because of the torturous things that you did to my heart. I don’t want us to be strangers, but I suppose I never did know how to just be friends with someone that I loved as deeply as I did you.
What scares me most about letting go of you is completely losing our connection, forever.
One day I won’t even remember the sound of your voice. I will no longer have your phone number memorized by heart. Maybe I’ll even find the strength to delete it. I won’t be able to replicate each one of the fifteen turns that it takes to get from my house to yours. I’ll throw your t-shirts in the trash because your scent has wafted away from them anyway. I have already forgotten what if feels like to be wrapped up in your arms and how your body always felt so warm next to mine, and I fear that, with each passing day, I will have lost another piece of you that will be impossible to get back.
But I think my stomach will always drop a little when I pass your exit on the toll road, and whenever “Hello” comes on the radio, I’ll have to fumble around frantically to change the station. I don’t think I will ever stop wondering how you’re doing, if you have managed to accomplish all of the dreams that you told me about excitedly on our late-night Facetime calls.
There is a part of you that I will always carry with me, and I hope that you’ll never let go of the piece of my heart that I so willingly gave you on that rainy July night when I struggled to get those three words out of my mouth for the first time. Maybe one day I will finally be strong enough to completely let go, but the time that I spent with you changed who I am in a very drastic way. For better or worse, this aspect of you will remain with me for much longer than you ever intended to.