I have always felt safe with you. I loved who I was in your presence. You had this way of bringing out the best in me, always celebrating my authenticity and making me feel like who I was, even at my most vulnerable, mattered.
In my weakest moments, you made me feel like the strongest person in the room. When I thought I had lost my voice, you still heard me loud and clear and made sure that everyone else did, too. You were the white flag in every war I waged against myself. You carried me to safety in every storm. On my darkest days, you would look at me with a light in your eyes that I didn’t even know existed.
And now, you only look at me like that during REM cycles, in the dark, beneath layers of unconscious. That’s the only way I see you anymore, is in fleeting moments throughout my dreams. I feel like I’m chasing your ghost.
I know you’re still alive. You still exist, but you’re not the person you used to be, when your smile felt like a welcome mat with my name on it. When your voice was a porch light turning on, beckoning me to safety from the darkness. When your eyes felt like home.
They say it takes seven years for every cell in our body to regenerate and replace themselves with new healthier versions of what they once were. Even the smallest parts of us wouldn’t recognize each other anymore, but I’m still grieving your absence with every God particle of my existence. In your presence, I felt holy; now I’m tolerable at best. But one miracle worth holding on to is the fact that I still see you in my dreams. You are the reason I smile in my sleep.
You almost make the nightmares worth it.