This used to be routine for us. Pick a date. Mark our individual calendars. Cross off each hour we came a little closer to reuniting. Use Sharpie. Make it dark. Black out the days apart. Highlight our trips. Elongate them. Stretch them off the page.
When you love someone who lives in a different time zone, countdowns become cherished traditions. A focal point when everything hurts, when you miss them so much, it’s hard to not resent the cute couple at Starbucks. In love. Nearby. Able to touch each other and not rely on technology to see their face.
In a world that constantly confused me, you were the only thing that made sense. You were the color in all this black and white that gave me hope. You sang me silly songs when I was freaking out about the dumbest things. You told my mom you’d marry me one day. Everything was doable because I had you.
Everything was better because I had you.
So now I’m in the city we used to meet, but you won’t be standing in the airport waiting to grab my bag. Terrified of flying, my love for you was the only thing that overpowered it. Boarding ticket in hand, I’d hop on giddy. You were so close in those moments, I could taste you. I could feel your hand on my shoulder.
There are days like this, when I’m swimming in your ghost, that it feels like the air is heavier.
There are days like this, when I’m in a place I used to love you and you used to love me, and it feels like nothing will ever make sense like that again.
There are days like this, when the New York skyline looks like it does in the movies, and all I want to do is crawl into bed with you in your cramped dorm room.
Out of nowhere, it hurts like hell. Even if it’s been so many years and I’ve kissed enough people by now that I shouldn’t be able to remember how your lips feel.
But I do.
I always remember you.