You’re the first thing I go to write about.
When I’m lost for words or out of inspiration, it’s always your eyes I try and describe; even though they’re not the kind that could be captured by a half-thought out metaphor. And I don’t think there’s a word in the dictionary that could describe the way I felt when you looked at me.
Once. Twice. When even the warm summer air couldn’t stop my skin from tingling.
I don’t write about you because I’m still in love with you or because I still want to be. I write about you – about us – because it’s the most powerful thing I’ve ever known. Never before, or since, had I ever been so utterly and hopelessly absorbed by anything as much as I was with you.
Intoxicated. That’s what I was. Not just drunk but completely wasted on the possibility of being loved by you, even if it was just a possibility.
We weren’t real but it was the realest thing I’ve ever felt. And feelings are so much stronger than sense. They’re immune to any logic. So I tell myself that I can’t keep writing about you and hoping that, by putting it on paper, we were something. Anything.
In the strangest way, keeping you alive in my imagination is my way of letting you go. The more of you I put down on paper, the less I carry with me. I don’t have to remember how it felt to tell you I loved you and not hear it back. A song I play over and over until I become numb to your melody and your heart is just another drumbeat.
I sat down to try and write a novel about you the other day. It was us: from end to beginning, because I wanted to tell our story. My story.
You’d think that the end would be a funny place to start a love story, but then again you couldn’t really call ours that. I don’t really know what you’d call it, how you’d describe it to a friend or which section it’d be classified under in a library. All I know is that I have to start at the end with us because it’s the only thing I know for definite: that we ended. I’m not sure we ever started, not properly. In my mind we did, but you know, minds can be funny places, full of idealism and hopes that contort the truth into something our hearts want to see.
You’re not my only story to tell, but you’re the one I’m most desperate for the world to hear. I tell myself daily that I’m no longer in love with you, yet at night I’m awake thinking of ways to make you into poetry. Maybe it’s because you’ve always existed in my imagination. In every character in every story. They’re you.
They will always be you.
That’s what you are to me: a reminder. Of what I had and what love felt like, even if it was only mine. We’re the museum I’ve visited a thousands times but keep finding my way back to. The painting I’ll stare at for hours because I’m always finding something new; hidden messages beneath the brushstrokes. My favourite story, because I know us back to front and even though the words we spoke course through my veins, I still like to read over us once in a while. Marking the corners of my favourite pages for when I want to revisit them.
To me, we never lose our appeal. I’ll keep on lining up to buy a ticket.