1. Because every time we come in contact with each other, even briefly, all of my friends inevitably ask me a million invasive questions about what happened and whether or not we said anything to each other. (Spoiler alert: we awkwardly moved in circles around each other and nodded, as always.)
2. Because the music I listen to has started to take on these weird undertones, as though each song is secretly telling me something that you’re trying to say from across the city.
3. Because it’s making me hate music entirely.
4. Because I feel like there is a limit to how much can happen between two people if you still expect them to be normal around each other when it’s all over. It feels like we passed that limit a really long time ago, and now it’s bound to be tense when we run into one another because it isn’t just us — it’s everything that happened while we were together.
5. Because I remember what you look like naked, and what you feel like in my bed, and the way you breathe when you are just first falling asleep.
6. Because you were once inside me, not so long ago.
7. Because I feel that you have seen a real version of me which I do my best to obscure and filter on a daily basis, and I’m uncomfortable being around someone who knows that much about me and is no longer bound to me in any way.
8. Because I can’t help but think of all the secrets you know when I see you, and wonder how many people you’ve already told.
9. Because I’ve convinced the mutual friends which leaned more to my side of the fence to hate you for reasons which may or not be mostly my own ego and hurt feelings.
10. Because I’m afraid you’ll ask me for the sweater back which I have strategically stolen. But you can’t be mad at me for this; it fits perfectly and keeps me extremely warm on the semi-frequent nights where my heater doesn’t work.
11. Because I am afraid I will see you everywhere, so I have to constantly steel myself against the prospect.
12. Because the day you left me, I was so humiliated that I tried to say the meanest things I possibly could as you were leaving. I now realize how ridiculous that was, of course, and that it was necessary for us to take a break from each other and the bad things we were doing, but I don’t want to look someone in the eyes who heard me say these things.
13. Because I’m not the person you remember, but you don’t know that.
14. Because I’m afraid that I have gotten progressively less attractive while you have only gotten more lovely in my eyes. I know that I have let myself go emotionally, and I would be shocked if that wasn’t at least somewhat visible in my outward appearance.
15. Because I miss you.
16. Because I had to delete you off of all social media for my own sanity and now I fear that we would be expected to add each other again if we had a long enough conversation, and I don’t think I’d be ready to have that temptation in my life.
17. Because I’m afraid you’re with someone else, and I don’t want to know if you are.
18. Because I have practiced what I am going to say to you again if I acknowledge your existence, and even in front of the mirror I look like an absolute idiot. I can tell that what I want to say sounds rehearsed, and insincere, and mostly meant to save my own pride.
19. Because even in front of my own mirror, the only think that makes sense is “I still think about you. Do you ever think about me?”