If you miss her, don’t tell her. She has spent too many nights sleepless wondering if you do. She falls asleep eventually, a brief reprieve from the self-hatred and unanswered questions waiting for her when she drifts back into painful consciousness. The moment immediately after she opens her eyes is the easiest – she can’t remember why her chest feels hollow, only that it does.
If you miss her, don’t tell her. She is searching for validation in someone else’s arms. Sometimes it helps. Other times, even walking past places the two of you used to frequent induces choke-sobbing, the kind where she feels nauseated after the wracking sobs subside into whimpers. Eventually she grows tired of strange beds and stranger nightmares. She retreats back into her own room, alone. She finds that it is easier to imagine a life without you when she confronts your memory. There, your favorite cup to drink out of. There, the drawer you used to keep your things in. Here, the bed where you made love so passionately, God grew tired of hearing his name fall from your lips.
If you miss her, don’t tell her. She deserves someone who doesn’t just realize this in the lonely midnight hours, but misses her in her presence, anticipating her absence.
If you miss her, don’t tell her. Moving on from you was the hardest thing she’s ever had to do. She’s just barely begun to call her body home again. Her eyes have stopped searching for you in every coffee shop, her hands have stopped shrinking from this weight she thought she couldn’t hold. If you tell her how you miss her toothbrush next to yours, she’s not sure whether the next step she takes is toward you or away from you.
If you miss her, hold it inside yourself. Say it to your tired reflection in the morning and again at night. Miss her with every empty atom of space between your fingers. Miss her in the way that Gilmore Girls reruns still make you catch your breath because you had downloaded every season for her. Miss her until you aren’t sure anymore if you miss her or the idea of her. Then the parts of each other that you cling to become the selves you idealize, so that when you find it hard to move on, you can know that and see both the naïveté and possibility of change.