Lonely cups of coffee and lukewarm smiles are all that we had left. I stared into my cup on that chilly April evening hoping it would give me all of the answers I knew you never would, while you stared into yours hoping it would hide your secrets away. We were not the same people anymore. You left Chicago and found yourself, while I stayed behind and lost you.
I could not recognize the eyes that looked back at me so uncertainly, and I admit that I started to wonder if I even should have come. What were we doing there? We were just two strangers grasping for a love that they never even had in the first place. Neither of us even knew how to greet each other anymore. No, we were not the same people who used to be wrapped in each other’s arms, eyes locked as life forced us to say goodbye. We were back to being strangers. We were back to being two people who weren’t sure what to do with their hands or when it was okay to kiss or laugh or even smile at the other person without making them upset. I don’t know if the you I loved was real or if the stranger in front of me that night was. All I knew was that what we had before was over and that we had so few days left to decide how we would greet each other.
I think the heart always knows when it has lost something close to it and that it is our minds that just cannot fathom how to let go. I always knew my time with you was limited. You were never going to be someone I would be able to call mine forever. But still, I hoped and I hoped that some miracle would happen, and you would change your mind. And we would find a way to make this work. Maybe I would leave the cold Chicago winters for a lifetime in the sun, or you would decide that the cold never really bothered you that much anyway. I always knew you would never be mine, but I never let myself truly believe it. I knew the last time you kissed me good morning would be the last time that you ever did. I knew the last time that you told me to have a good day that what you actually meant was goodbye. I knew that you would never be my forever.
Yet, I started to feel like you could be my best friend. You always seemed to show up when I needed you the most. You ran into my life full of passion and nerves, but in the end, you ran out the exact same way.
Time is something that is never guaranteed to us, but that has never made missing you any easier. I will never forget the time you made me breakfast, and I realized in that moment just how different you were from every other person who had come before you. I’ll always remember all of the times you made me laugh until I almost started crying and how nice it was to finally be crying for a good reason for once. I will always be so grateful that I met you because you showed me what it was like to have someone truly care for you, even though it did not last as long as I had hoped it would. And I will always sit here wondering if there will come a time that you do not even remember my name.
I will never truly know if I meant to you what you meant to me. When everything ended between us, you made sure to distance yourself as far away from me as you possibly could. But what I think neither of us realized was that the distance had already been there for so long. The moment you boarded that plane, I think you knew that things would never be the same again. I think you knew what leaving your heart somewhere else was going to do to us. I think you are an expert in running away from love. I think I am one of many that you have collected on all of your trips around this place and that maybe I made things better in my head than they ever actually were.
One of the last days we spent together, you were writing, and you joked that it was about us. What I would give now to know what it was that you were writing about. What I would have given then for a chance to get inside of your head and find out why you were always so desperate to keep running. Who was it that you were looking for? I just wanted so badly for it to be me. But it wasn’t. You left this place and this person, and as far as I know, you never looked back. I like to think that maybe you think of me as often as I think of you, but then reality sets in, and I know that you don’t.
I am just another story of another love who would never be good enough for you. Maybe you wrote about us so you would never forget that we happened. Or maybe, you wrote about us to rid yourself of our memories. If you pour it all out onto paper, then it no longer dwells inside of you, consuming you. You can just pack our memories away with all of the others. Maybe on a rainy day, you’ll open up your little book to our page, and you will remember the girl with the green hair on the green line and the day that you began believing in fate. Or maybe, you have closed our chapter for good, and I will be nothing more than a distant, foggy memory of a time that once meant something to you.
If you erase a memory from your mind, will it ever really leave your heart? I will always be hopeful that the answer is no, but I still get the feeling that you will never really remember us.