You’ve spent a long time with someone. You know their strange little quirks you came to love, the calming familiarity of their hugs, how their body feels when you rest in their arms. You know how they smell like, and it’s comforting, like the smell of home after a long day. You know the way they talk with their hands, their gestures. You know the drink they usually order at the neighborhood pub, and the feeling of their hair as you run your hands through it, leaning on their shoulder on the way home just past midnight on a Friday.
When he left, it was like he disappeared silently into the night, never to return again when the morning dawned. It happened just like in my nightmares. You wake up – you’re breathing hard, heart racing, and you’re clinging on to your sheets with sweaty palms. After the initial terror passes, you realize it’s all a fraction of your imagination, and nothing more. And you’re so glad that it’s not real.
But when he left, it was living out a nightmare in real life. And, this time, it was real. His presence – gone. My worst fear. Just like in the nightmares, you’re reaching out, but this time there’s nothing to grab on to. Nothing but thin air.
You know the sinking feeling – you’re falling through the void, and this time there’s no one there to catch you.
This is my new reality. Cold winter, wind on my face. Silence at 9am on a weekday, people walking with their earphones in, looking straight ahead. The only sound in this place is the cars driving by. Soggy, decomposing leaves on the ground. The leaves aren’t their bright autumn colors anymore – just lifeless, a little like how I feel right now without you. The trees are barren, having lost their soothing oranges, deep burgundy’s, and sunset yellows.
Somehow, all the places we used to go to don’t feel like home anymore, and I can’t escape it.
Breathe in. Sharp, cold November air rushes into my lungs, seeping through my body. I shiver. Breathe out. Trying to get the weight off my chest. But somehow, all the sighing and breathing exercises in the world can’t get the heavy weight of the heartbreak of you not being in my life anymore.
I walk past the building where you work, on my way to where I have to be. Day in, day out. Rain or shine. It’s the same building you showed me when you were excited to get that job. You couldn’t wait to work there. I scan the sidewalk for your presence. I look over my shoulder, hoping you’d be there at the same time as me. You in your favorite black jacket – the one that matched mine, making us always look like that couple that coordinates their outfits – and your faded blue jeans, your polished black shoes clicking on the concrete pavement. I can picture how funny we must’ve looked with the same black jacket, jeans, and black shoes. It still makes me smile.
I know the way you walk – quickly like you’re in a rush to get somewhere. Just like how you used to when you were walking towards me, excited to see me after a long day after work. But you moved on faster with her than you walk. I don’t even know why I still look for you there. Maybe to see that you still exist, even though you’re not in my life anymore. Maybe hoping you’d talk to me, instead of giving me radio silence like it’s been the last 6 weeks since you left. Maybe in hopes that you would be walking in the same direction. Like in the movies, you’d approach me, and finally, give me the apology I had been waiting for all these weeks. “I’m sorry I left you the way I did.”
It’s the apology I know will never come. It’s the closure I know deep in my heart I’ll simply have to move on without.
Days go by slower. I cross out the days in my calendar, one by one. I flashback to the last words you said to me. Nights seem darker. I fake that I’m over you. I lie to myself that I feel nothing for you anymore. I keep telling myself that I wish I never met you. But yet, the simplest of daily activities that I do alone now, and the mere memory of you can make me break down in tears all the time.
Every passing day is another day without you. It’s then that I realize that I was okay before you before you came into my life a year ago. And I’ll be okay after you. And someday, the pain will numb and fade to the point that it’s just a distant memory. I’ll look back on how we made all these promises to each other. We talked about life together in a different country, living in a nice city. You talked about us spending the weekends together at home, and you making breakfast for me. We talked about getting married, and being each other’s forever. We talked about raising a family together. It all sounded so perfect.
But I can’t wait for the day when I reminiscence on it and I laugh, instead of cry. And I’ll be glad I met you.
On that day when I can say that I don’t miss you anymore, I’ll be able to finally say sincerely, “thank you“. Thank you for being the special someone I had the chance to be in love with. Thank you for being the someone that made me feel fiercely, and love passionately. Thank you for leaving me, even though it hurts like a knife to my chest right now.
When it ended, I knew that the whole experience meant so much to me, in many ways. It taught me how to deal with heartbreak, loss, pain, and betrayal. It taught me how to deal with never getting an apology from you for taking away my innocence and leaving with a part of me I can never get back. It also gave me so many wonderful romantic memories to remember the relationship by. I’ll cherish those memories for the rest of my life. And that’s the reason why I’m missing you this much right now.
One day in the future, I’ll stop missing you. But for now, I’ll let myself miss you. And that’s okay.