To The Boy In The Rear View Mirror

William Stitt
William Stitt

When you came back I suddenly found myself sucked into that little world I haven’t been to in a long while. The playful banters and late-night conversations made it seem like we were back to where we were eight years ago.

More than anyone you’ve always known my dreams and my fears, and you’d tell me to embrace them without reservations. And you haven’t changed at all. You still laughed whenever I over corrected you. And your eyes glistened when you told me how those little things I do still amaze you. You’re like an old blanket comfortable, safe – familiar.

And while you felt like home, it didn’t take long for me to realize that you weren’t.

You could not look me in the eyes when I told you you’re still terribly nice to me. It gave everything away – all the pain and all the guilt you’ve carried with you all these years. And in my head I knew where this was going. Once again we came crashing into the same rabbit hole when you finally started rehashing the past with your same old apologies.

I thought I saw a tear fall down your face when you told me you keep going back to what could have been. And when I asked you if you’re happy with what is, it broke my heart when you told me you don’t know.

“I guess a part of me will never stop loving you,” you said. And somehow I knew that. But it surprised me to finally hear you say it. You never said things like that. But I guess moments past 2:00am have a way of doing that to us.

That was all it took for everything that has been left unsaid to finally be spoken. All of a sudden I could feel this knot that I never thought was lodged deep inside my chest for a long time loosen. And for the first time, I climbed my way out of the rabbit hole without looking back. I didn’t need to anymore. I was finally free – from all the what-ifs, and all the questions left unanswered through the years.

You admitted that you wanted to finally stop feeling for me. And I understand that, because I share that burden too. But there isn’t a need to un-love me, or forget me for we both know that you never will – just as I with you. You will continue living, remembering, and loving me still until you cease to exist. And memories of what was, what is, and what could have been will only either comfort or tear you apart, much more than the last time.

And now you ask me, “What am I supposed to do then?”

You may never be able to get rid of ghosts in your life such as a lost love, but you can find a love greater than what you already have for me.

And you will find one, I’m sure of it. It shouldn’t be that hard.  After all, yours wasn’t even great enough to hold on to me for as long as a second.

So go on, find someone you could love as much as I have loved you. And when you finally find her, pray. Really pray that she loves you more than you ever loved me. God knows we both deserve to be equally happy.  Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog