I was always conscious of how the fleeting moments we shared fit together like a story. Foreshadowing, symbols, motifs and metaphors wove together all too convincingly, forming the silhouette of what I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe we were meant for each other, that our love was preordained and my only role was to tread the pre-carved path to my destiny.
It was unusual how I’d dream of you one night and the next day you’d reach out to me after months of silence. It was as though my unconscious mind could sense ripples in the fabric of reality; the waves of anticipation would reach me before you did.
The story was rich with irony. So many nights were wasted dwelling on all of my shortcomings that prevented me from being with you. I should’ve focused on my work but I couldn’t. Irony resurfaced as you told me to think of a boy; surely my heart had been broken before? I laughed because if I hadn’t I would’ve cried and wouldn’t have been able to stop, the proximity of the truth was overwhelming.
I remember seizing moments to make cryptic comments about you ruining my life. I complained because ever since you told me your Converse rubbed your toes, my perfectly fitting shoes began to rub mine. ‘You’re ruining my life…’ I moaned as you laughed at my predicament. I hastily said was kidding because I immediately regretted the excess of truth I’d just poured into our conversation.
I remember the Freudian slips when you weren’t around. Your name fell through my fingers like electricity as I typed. Your name fell from my mouth even when you were the last thing on my mind.
I remember so much. I remember how I could feel the potential energy lurking in the pauses in our conversations. I remember the way I could only look you in the eye for the briefest of moments because I was scared you’d see through me if you looked long enough. I remember the time you called me smart and my inability to form words in response. I remember how I played the piano for you on an autumn day it felt like the start of something. I can remember how it felt to be seduced into giving up my former self by the spell of elated feelings you had me under.
It doesn’t matter how much I remember though, I don’t remember enough because you’re not here; not even in my memories anymore, not really. You’re slipping. I’m in love with a silhouette now because I can’t remember the exact shade of your eyes and I don’t remember what it sounds like when you laugh. You’ve become the blurry picture, the grains blown away by time, that we’d admired on the wall of an art gallery. I still love you but I don’t know who or what it is I’m in love with anymore. It’s all lost in a haze. I’m aimlessly searching, trying to fill the spaces you left.
Newton’s first law of motion states that ‘An object in motion stays in motion …unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.’ I’m stuck in the inertia of loving you. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten who I was beforehand. I need a force to initiate movement in a new direction but I can’t find it within myself. I don’t know what more I can do. Time after time I’ve sought closure within myself but I still think of you whenever I shouldn’t and my brain only thrives off of my cries for silence.
I got too hung up on the idea of us being a story. The problem with stories is they demand an ending; a lesson, closure, solution, anything to justify the means. Without an ending it’s infuriating for the reader because the journey seems redundant, no matter how extraordinary it was.
How can I alone produce an ending that somehow justifies the intensity of everything I’ve felt and been for such a significant amount of time?
I need to move but I can’t, and I’m running out of time. I’m running out of myself. Guilt runs through my veins like ice when I listen to the music you like because I feel like I’ve stolen a part of you and kept it for myself. I hate myself a little more each time I check your profile just to remind myself you weren’t a dream. Time and time again I’ve tried to find a way to accept that I was only a whisper in your life when you were a symphony in mine.
Sometimes, the most obvious answers are the most difficult to find. The amount of ‘I’ in this story outweighs the amount of ‘you’. This love was never truly about you; your role in it was passive. My mind wove all the pieces together to form a beautiful story charged with possibility, passion and hope. The pieces were real enough, this wasn’t a work of fiction entirely. But the truths were woven into a lie. Lies can be beautiful, hideous or tragic and they can flourish in the absence of truth. But that’s the thing, truth will always obliterate the lie. Like light into darkness, the truth and the lie cannot coexist and the truth is going to win. I knew in my heart that we were a lie and it killed me every time I dared look.
I won’t let the shadows and lies, no matter how beautiful the patterns they’ve forged are, manipulate me anymore. I’ll stop counting the days since you said you’d talk later. I’ll stop checking your profile. I’ll stop trying to pinpoint the exact moment where I messed up my chances. These movements are small but I can feel my trajectory changing, subtly, I’m moving at a different angle now. Every moment that passes I’m further from how I was and I know that somehow, maybe not yet, I’m on my way to being okay. I might not be powerful, but it’s enough because the force came from within me. Not from you, not from anywhere else. I’m moving somewhere else now, of my own accord. I’m terrified but I’m not going back.