Thought Catalog

I’m Grateful For The Times I Can’t Forget

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Tanja Heffner

I’ll admit that I don’t know you anymore. And by that I mean, I don’t know how you take your coffee, what your current favorite tie is, or the last song you played on Spotify.

Yet, the things I still know include the following: the way you fix your hair, the intentional stilling of a thought, the way your eyes widen in confusion. I am well versed in the quiet chuckle of your laughter, and can effortlessly drum my fingers to the rhythm of your fidgety ones. But most importantly, I am fluent when it comes to your desire of creating a legacy. I know it to be your top priority over everything else. I’d like you to know that no part of me wants to keep you from it.

You said seeing me undid the closure that you had told yourself you already accomplished. I told you that that seeing you had helped me. It did. And it didn’t. I felt aches that resembled intentionally pressing down on a fresh bruise. Familiar and unhealed. I cried almost every time I left. Because no matter how much time passes, seeing you tugs on my heart in a way I can’t even begin to understand. And each time we part ways, I turn my back because I can’t stand the sight of you leaving again.

I’m grateful for everything we’ve ever had. I know that it was once very real, alive, and beautiful. I need you to know that there isn’t a single moment I’d erase or undo. None of the pain, hurt, or agony. I’d do them over in a heartbeat. To me, all the sleepless lonely nights were worth our stolen mornings together.

I remember the way I woke up that first morning, sunlight filtering through your expansive window, your eyelashes tickling the back of my neck. The look we gave each other as we realized at some point in the night you had pulled me closer. Your arms didn’t simply hold me, but were iron-clad around me as if fearful of my departure. Your eyes wordlessly told me that you didn’t understand what your body was doing.

Thank you for the moments so tender, yet heart-shatteringly cruel in their nature. The ones that unkindly taught me love simply isn’t enough sometimes. The ones that I can’t and don’t want to forget. Thank you not only for the relationship, but the friendship and companionship. For forcing me to grow not only with you, but independent of, and often without you.

I am realistic and logical. So I know given the current trajectories of our lives it is highly improbable that we will ever find ourselves in the same place for more than a week.

So what I tell myself is the following: Somewhere in a parallel universe we worked out. I’m sure of it. We fought for each other instead of ourselves. We made it out and onto the other side. Somewhere out there, we’re happy with each other, and take pride in knowing the other’s every superficial nuance. Somewhere out there we gave us the chance that we didn’t in this place and time.

That is the only solace I can allow myself. Anything more would simply be masochistic. TC mark

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