This Is The Way I Miss You

Woman with windblown hair looking serious at sunset
Timothy Paul Smith / Unsplash

As I sat by the water, I wondered what you were thinking right at that moment.

I wondered if you were by yourself. Sitting on your bed, watching movies like we used to, until late into the night.

Or, were you watching movies with your wife.

When I heard that you were getting married, it didn’t matter that I had found someone new and moved on years ago. It felt like a bullet had ripped through my skin. I bled onto the floor.

We had talked about getting married and I could picture it. I saw it all. I saw you, in khakis and a white shirt, because we always said we would get married on the beach. I saw myself, wearing a long, plain, white dress. I could picture our vows; just the two of us telling the officiator how much we love one another, and how we have grown so much together, and how we can’t wait to grow more.

I thought of the kids we will never have now.

I think of the time when I called you and you picked up the phone, and in the background I could hear the sound of your children laughing and your wife’s beautiful voice singing to them. I sat on the phone just to listen, until you finally hung up.

It was in your confusion that I realized you probably don’t even have my number saved in your phone anymore.

******

When we first met, I knew that you would have an impact on my life.

I didn’t know how much of one then.

I didn’t realize you would consume every thought and dream I ever had, from that day forward. I didn’t realize that I would forget you and remember and miss you, in a cycle, over and over again. I feel like I always will.

The first time you said hello I had the urge to go ahead and apologize for all of the hurt I knew I would bring to you, because I was young and naive, and I had a tendency to ruin all of the good things before they even started.

Instead I replied with, hello.

We didn’t go out on our first date for several months. Instead, we brushed past each other and lived for light touches and soft words whispered. Finally, we found each other at the same party. We both had way too much to drink. We slept in the same bed that night, groping and kissing, but you wouldn’t sleep with me.

I want to remember this, you said.

It was then that I knew.

*******

Despite my sureness of you, I couldn’t help but hurt you.

I loved you, but I never told you. Even though you told me several times.

I was addicted to you, but I also didn’t want to attach myself to someone that was so easy to lose.

I picked fights. I blew you off. I stopped looking at you in the eye. You got me Christmas gifts and left them in my car. I never even said thank you.

I didn’t have the right to be upset with you when you had the decency to tell me that you were seeing someone else.

I love you, but I don’t know what you want from me, you said.

I want to marry you, have children with you, build a life with you, but I can’t do that if you won’t even commit to a single night with me, you said.

I asked a woman out on a date because I’m ready for something more, you said.

Okay, I said.

I went home and contemplated the benefits of walking out of this world without saying goodbye.

******

I walked back to my car and headed home. I left the smell of the lake behind me.

It was then that I passed you. It was so unexpected that I nearly wrecked my car.

You became a police officer. You were standing next to your vehicle pointing your speed gun right at me. When you saw me, you dropped it to your side and stared.

It all happened in slow motion.

I desperately hoped I was speeding so you would pull me over.

You never did.

I went home and went to sleep. I had dreams of you and what our life could have been. TC mark

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