I look for you in crowded bars, at the bottom of bottles.
I look for you when I know I shouldn’t and the pain lingers when I see subtle reminders of what once was, but will never be. My eyes heavy with sadness, swollen and sore to the touch, tears still stream down my face effortlessly. These days, my lowest of lows seem unfathomably lower as I try to comprehend what went wrong.
It still hurts. Despite all the positive self-talk and loud love songs I have played in the car, to and from every destination. I cannot escape the choke that dances in my throat. She’s sly. She sits there and manipulates my mind, and my mind so foolishly succumbs to her and hands, her weaponry. The ammunition she gathered from my mind warps my sense of reality and the tears inevitably fall.
I’ve thought about calling you, to make a feeble attempt to verbalize how you hurt me. It is foolish, though. Trying to make you understand your own chaos would be like trying to scream underwater. My cries and pleading would be drowned out by the depth and tenacity of the ocean. I stand no chance against the vigor of the water.
I shared my deepest fears with you and my wildest dreams. I planned a life with you, we talked about dog names and if concrete counter tops would look good in the kitchen. I used to daydream about you holding our children, admiring you because of what an excellent parent you would be.
I wasn’t ready to let go, but you were long gone and I was the last to know. Even when you left, you asked me to wait. You asked me to let you have your space. You asked me to have hope for the future, to see if you worked things out amongst yourself, maybe you would come back a better man.
You never came back. But I did.
When you make someone your sun, you tend to lose the light within yourself. When the sun fades and you’re left with only an ember of who you were, you find yourself frantically searching for the light that kept you warm.
The light was there to guide you and to help you grow. There was always good in the light, and the light brought you happiness. How you rise from the ashes of the flame that burned you is another story entirely.
When you left, I felt a loss of a friend. There was no one to get late night ice cream with or watch The Office with on an eternal loop. After you left, I realized I didn’t like those routines much anyway. I realized how much time and energy I wasted making you the center of my universe, so I redirected my focus and I became the sun to which my planets revolved around.
I didn’t need you to fall asleep at night or to wake me up in the morning. I didn’t need you to pursue my dreams or decide that, yes, the fucking concrete counter tops will look good in my kitchen. I stopped using “we” and found “I.” I became my own backbone, my own dance partner.
My life is so much more vivacious without your camouflaged haze around.