I Don’t Know What I Would Do If I Ran Into You

Elliott Dunning
Elliott Dunning

If I ran into you, I would be torn between stopping mid-stride to stare and gliding past you in a classy attempt to act like I hadn’t seen you. I would be torn between cocooning you in my arms and cursing you out. I would be torn between the way I really felt and the way I was supposed to feel, the way I was supposed to hate you for all of the bullshit you put me through.

If I ran into you, my eyes would be microscopes examining your movements. I’d watch for every twitch of the finger and shudder of the pupil, to figure out what the hell you were thinking. Without those micro hints, I’d have no idea how you felt about me. If you missed me. If you resented me. If you still loved me. If you loathed me. If you wanted me to come closer or if you wanted me to pull away.

If I ran into you, I would be smothered with self-consciousness. I would curse myself for wearing sneakers instead of heels, for leaving the house without a speck of makeup when you were still roaming around this earth. And, as soon as you left, I would glance in the nearest mirror, praying I looked attractive enough to hold your interest. To keep me lodged in your mind for the rest of the week.

If I ran into you, I’d be forced to think about the unthinkable. About the way we would text all night, until sleep stole my words away. About the music you blasted in the car, your voice a lullaby in my ears. About how attractive you looked in your long sleeved shirts rolled up to the elbows. I’ve been working hard to erase those memories. I don’t need you to sketch them in my mind again.

If I ran into you, I wouldn’t know which questions were appropriate to ask. I’d stick to the safe ones. Ones like, Where are you living now? How are your parents? How’s work? But really, I’d be dying to ask, Have you found someone else? Do you still think about me? Do you still want me? The conversation we spoke aloud would be miles apart from our unspoken one, the one tainting the air between us.

If I ran into you, all of my old feelings would drift to the surface, but I don’t know which ones. I don’t know if the bitterness would return or the depression–or worst of all, the love. I don’t know if I’d have the urge to get back together with you or to slide a knife into your skin. I don’t know what seeing you would do to me, how well it would pluck apart my sanity, and I don’t want to find out.

I don’t want to run into you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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