You were running and you turned around this time.
We don’t talk enough about is how easy it is to run. We tell people we’ve left because we wanted different things or we didn’t have enough in common or it wasn’t fun anymore but what those all boil down to is this: it hurt less to run than to buckle down and do the work. It took less time to erase them from your future than it would have to invest enough to keep them there. It seemed easier to run away and start over with someone new than to stay there and face your problems together.
So you started to repeat the process again this time: they started to not be enough for you anymore, so you began stretching out your running muscles. You touched your toes as you obsessed over how bored you are. You reached over your head as you decided you’d finally take time to yourself after you were gone. You tied on your sneakers as you imagined your life in a month, five months, five years without them in it. And you ran. You didn’t say goodbye: you have to wait until you’re far enough away for that or they might get angry enough that it’s not your decision anymore. They might be strong enough to pull you back in. So you jogged away, slipping into that silent night, going as far as you could without them noticing, waiting for the perfect moment to wave goodbye.
But with this one something was different. It wasn’t the title: boyfriend, significant other, wife, they’re all the same in the end. They all mean something now that could easily be wiped away if you ran hard enough.
You were halfway down the block and something made you stop. You were thinking of the way their hair falls right into their eye when they wake up in the morning and they’ve gone too long without a trim. You think about how they hold you when you’re sick and the time they brought blankets out to sleep on the floor next to you because you were too nauseous to walk to the bedroom.
You think of all the things you’ve done together over the past few years, months, days: all the dinners you’ve made together, the albums you’ve told each other about, all the great sex you’ve had, all the decent sex you’ve had, all the jokes and nicknames and stupid things you’ve laughed at together. And you don’t want to do these things with anyone else. You could keep running and just run far far away, to a new life in a new world. But you’d never find them again. You could date and date and in a few years you could settle down with someone who’s nice and funny and beautiful and you could be happy. But not happy like they make you. Not happy like you know you are now. You have a love that’s impossible to find and you know that. So you stop. You turn around.
Go back to them. Hour by hour find your groove with them again. Kiss them in that spot you love, behind their ear, where their jawbone meets their neck, the spot that smells just like them. When your mind wanders to what could be if you were on your own, ground yourself in the love you see coming out of their eyes. You were running and you turned around. That’s enough.