When I said I miss you, what I meant was that your laugh is impossible to forget, along with all of those late-night conversations about the Universe and who we were supposed to be in it. I meant that nobody has ever made me laugh or think as hard as you did, and I’m okay with that. I hope they never do. I meant that even though we hadn’t talked in months, I still thought of you every day, and thanked God for your presence in my life, regardless of how distant it had become. I meant that I was willing to put in whatever effort necessary to reinforce our bond that had just recently begun to slip through the cracks. I meant that I hoped you were willing to do the same.
When I said I love you, what I meant was that I have grown so much in the last ten years for having known you. I meant that I was thankful to have had you as a friend for all these years. I meant that, of all the people in our class of 2012, I am forever grateful that I got to sit next to you at high school graduation. I will always carry the memory of us laughing our way through the Valedictorian’s speech about how much better than us they thought they were. I wouldn’t have wanted to cross that stupid stage with anyone else.
I meant thank you for singing to me over the phone on New Year’s Eve, 2015, when I was on the opposite side of the country as all my friends and family, crying and having a mental break down. Neo’s voice has nothing on yours, and Part of the List will always bring me back to the way you carried me through that night.
What I meant was, I will never forget that night I got stranded at the Chicago airport, and you talked with me on the phone for seven hours straight, as I tried to navigate my way to the nearest McDonald’s, while bystanders laughed at me for walking in circles. I guess we were always walking in circles; Picking each other up when we hadn’t even mastered the ability of standing on our own feet yet. I guess the strength of our friendship and love for each other outweighed that of gravity.
When I said I hope you find whatever it is that you’re looking for, what I meant was that I’m sorry, but it was never supposed to be me. I meant that I love you, and I wish you could have at least said it back. What I meant was, I guess you’re just a stranger-in-the-making now. I’ll be listening for your voice on the radio, praying that you get out of your own way and allow yourself to reach heights and airwaves that we never could have together. What I meant was, your potential is just waiting to meet you. What I meant was, I will always love you from a distance. Stay away from me though.
What I meant was goodbye.
“You’ll live in my memories forevermore, I swear. They’re all part of the list.”