It’s funny how our memories work. When we think back to our lives, it’s always the big events – the exams, the first kisses, the nights we got drunk (however much we remember from those). But sometimes, the small memories bubble up for no reason. The small insignificant little moments, the moments caught in between the frames that don’t really belong in any “category.” The small forgotten fragments that haphazardly yet perfectly piece our past together.
And when those fragments suddenly resurface, those are the moments that leave us paralyzed with memory, moments that leave our hearts yearning for the past, a dark sullen nostalgia rising up within us.
These forgotten moments with you are so small and insignificant that I barely remember them. The ones where I put my feet up on your dashboard, singing along to overplayed songs on the radio. Bickering about what to get at the drive-thru window. Moments shivering in the car while the car engine warms up in the dead of winter. Looking at animal tracks in the snow and guessing whether it was a squirrel or rabbit. Wearing your shirts that made perfect over-sized jammies.
Those moments are the ones that get to me. The ones that I don’t remember everyday, yet once I do, I question how they, how you ever escaped my memory.
Oh, how naiive and immature we were back then; I was. Looking back now, in the short months or even year that we were together – those moments weren’t enough.
I miss the moments caught between the photographs.
The simplicity, the rawness, the childlike happiness.
I never realized how impossibly hard it is to find someone like you. Someone to share that silliness, to share my thoughts and dreams. To have someone play devil’s advocate. To have someone listen. Understand. To feel all the emotions across the spectrum, from excited to happy to loved. Even though the package came with worry and anger sometimes, I miss it all.
I miss having the light inside of me burn, to have my eyes to sparkle and to truly laugh.
You. You were my breath of fresh air. It’s as if I came up for air without knowing I was drowning, and – and now, I swim from platform to platform, thinking it is my new ground, my new anchor.
But all it is, all it ever was – was temporary. The more platforms I swim to, the more I realize how much of an awesome raft you were. A raft that would sing and dance with me, one willing to explore with me. One that understood whether I wanted to go north or south, east or west. And as with any raft, you had your deficiencies. You didn’t have everything on the boat; there were splinters on the boat here and there. But boy, were we happy, sailing along, exploring the world. It was just you and I against the world.
Then the weather changed – bright sunny rays turned to ominous clouds and happy chirping birds were replaced by the anger of the raging sea. I tried to hold on, but once the mast splintered and the boat started to spin in unknown directions, I left.
I didn’t want to sail anymore.
The first swim felt so liberating. So freeing – the entirety of the ocean was mine. I could direct myself in the direction I want. Or in retrospective, the direction that I thought I wanted to go to. Then I got a bit tired. So I tried hopping onto different platforms to rest, and they ranged. From luxury boats that catered to my every meal to wooden planks where I speared my own fish.
None of them made me feel alive.
And that was because they weren’t you. All of those random floating platforms paled in comparison to the raft you had. Even when I got to where I thought I wanted to swim to, I realized there’s no point in floating around without you.
I wonder. I wonder if it is the same for you. Was I your raft too? I miss that raft. I want to get on again. But people change. I changed, and God knows how much you changed. You always changed much faster than I did.
But I believe that things happen for a reason. For the better or worse. Our paths crossed where it was meant to; and we held on for the time that felt right. Perhaps if we met now it would never have been.
Regardless, I am ever so grateful, happy and privileged to have had those moments in-between, all the jagged puzzle pieces that crafted our perfect ride.
Maybe I will never have a similar ride again, maybe that was the ride of my lifetime. So I thank you – for your love, your patience, for teaching me a part of what love is and isn’t. I hope I left in between pieces for you too, and I hope you can find a better ride than what we had.