Who are you today?
I realize now that I don’t have any idea who the person on the other side of this conversation is anymore. We talk like we used to, make the same jokes we used to, it’s all the same…and yet it’s totally different. To anyone on the outside, we look like we’re right back where we were, but we know better. We know that whatever was there before is missing now, and those two people who were so in love years ago don’t exist anymore.
So we tell all of our friends that we don’t love each other anymore, and we feel we have to convince ourselves that it’s true, but we don’t realize just how true it is.
We don’t love each other anymore. We fell in love in a moment, but that moment passed as each does. In that moment we found ourselves at home in each other’s arms. Everything that made us who we were, we loved about each other. All of the walls we’d built, the masks we’d worn, came down, and our very beings united together.
In that moment, I loved everything about you. The way your smile filled you face when you saw me after being apart for mere weeks, as if the world around us ceased to exist. The laugh that used to light my world like nothing else could and the sarcastic comments we made to each other in the most loving way possible. I still remember it all. Basically, you’re everything in a woman I could have ever wanted and more. You’re perfectly imperfect, and you were perfect to me. That’s why I can’t see you anymore. Every time I do, those memories hit me like waves, though I know that we can never relive them. The two pieces that fit together better than any puzzle, don’t fit like they did then.
As someone who derives immeasurable pleasure from being right, I have never wanted to be wrong about something more than I did when I said how worried I was when you left for that summer, that nothing would be the same when you came back. As I left the airport after dropping you off and telling you for the last time how I much I loved you, and knowing I meant every word, I found tears running down my cheeks. The road in front of me blurred, as did every plan and path we said we’d one day take together. I hoped I’d be wrong, but I knew. Somehow, I knew I wouldn’t.
I tried everything to make sure I wouldn’t one day say, “I told you so.” I knew you were busy but we found time to talk, hoping to keep the flame between us lit, while feeling the oxygen slowly but steadily disappear, and watching that flame dim lower and lower.
Since you came back, I’ve found the thought of you impossible to drive out of my mind. Everywhere I go, everyone I see, it always leads me back to that singular thought of you. I know that the woman I can’t escape from isn’t the you in front of me, but even today, you’re the closest thing to the woman whom I held on the highest pedestal all those years ago. I’ve broken hearts, and I’ve suffered my share of heartbreak before, but I got over them, much faster than I have in our situation. I guess you got to me in more ways that anyone else ever had. I let you get closer than anyone else before. I told you all of my secrets, fears, wishes, and dreams; you knew more about me and who I was than my own family did. I held nothing back and opened my entirety to you.
That’s why I can’t be in your life anymore. I guess I’m still deeply hurt from everything we’ve gone through since that fateful day you left. I knew you in every possible way, inside and out, and I can’t bear to know that there is someone else who knows you as deeply as I did, even if that’s simply a memory of a time I knew you. Maybe it’s selfish, but this is the only way I know to cope with where we’ve ended up in our lives. It’s not that I don’t want to see you happy, you know that I want nothing more than for you to get everything in life you ever dreamed of, even if that no longer includes me. All the same, I don’t think I could bear to watch you fall in love with someone else, the way you fell in love with me. I couldn’t bear to see those beautiful hazel eyes in a love look with someone else when I run into again down the road.
So in this moment, I don’t know who you are anymore.
But that’s how it needs to be.
We’re just better – as a memory.