I catch your scent sometimes. In crowded places where the air gets thick and people rush past but their clouds hang frozen in the air. And there you were, in the most vivid of memories, from that one whiff, I could feel the soft of your skin, see the creases of your eyes, hear the heartiness of your laugh.
I used to lie awake while you slept. I used to delicately touch your face and endless wonder what cosmic alignments brought you into my broken life. I used to be devoured by my fears of not being enough for someone so charismatic, so vibrant, so endlessly charming that much of my days were spent swimming in dark waters of anxious insecurities.
I tried to hide the tenderness. The eternal flame of powerful emotions that ripped through me whenever I thought of you, but they burned ever brighter by the day. I felt sick when I exposed too much, when my mouth kept talking about how lovely and perfect you were when all I wanted to do was have the self-control to say nothing. Be cool, be aloof, the one who cares the least holds the power. But I lost all reason when I met you. I descended into a place where I couldn’t think, I could only feel, and I wanted to feel you every second.
You saddened and frustrated me. You spoke of love like it was a tangible thing you could study and know. I wanted you to get lost in your own heart, to jump into the unknown and unleash your truest, most hidden self to only me. But you remained guarded. I confused your lust and passion for my body as a connection to my mind and soul. I fell so fast and so deep that other parts of my life ceased to matter. I was convinced you had more depth than you wanted me to know about, that if I got close enough to the farthest centre of your soul, I could break you open and you would become equally overcome with love for me.
You fell away. Or maybe I pushed you with my impatience, with my intensity, with my endless need to be equally enthralled with each other. I woke up at the bottom of the rabbit hole, more broken than before. Being with you stopped filling me with excitement and anticipation and instead was replaced with only disappointments, in you and in myself. Maybe I had misjudged you, that what you presented to me was always all there would ever be. Or maybe it was, simply that, I wasn’t the one for you and you weren’t the one for me and we ran together for as long as we could until life faded us out.
And though I know that I will never be able to explain how quick and furiously I became smitten with you or why you never made the trip to that place for me, I will always wonder if you remember my perfume. If the scent of it on another reminds you just as vividly of those moments together, when everything was brilliant and full of possibility.