So here I am again, for some reason allowing the memories of you to flood this space again. My space, the space I spent so much time reclaiming from the darkness that filled the emptiness left after you. I have picked up the pieces; I have stored the memories of you in a place that was meant to never be disturbed. But now I find myself in the same place, ruminating on the “what if’s”. What if I had been better? What if you had trusted that I could make you happy? What if I was the one you wanted to be happy with?
Why am I here again? It feels like I have suddenly thrown away all the resilience and strength that I worked so hard to gain. I try to talk myself out of it, remembering how happy I have been able to make myself without you. I try to convince myself that there’s no possible way I could still be hung up on you—the time we have been apart simply can’t allow it. And yet, I’m writing this piece in hopes that it will offer me some solace, an antidote for that ache that has crept back into my heart, plastering itself to its walls while simultaneously wearing away at everything I have built in an attempt to cope with losing you.
I am so aware of what is happening—this is not an unfamiliar landscape. I have studied every detail and facet of this storied pain, as I had spent so long being consumed by it. But why now? Again, why am I back in this place? I am finding myself asking this question, as if there is some type of timeline for healing. However, that is just it. Healing, like many other things, isn’t linear. There is no clear trajectory on recovering from a pain so profound that it has permanently etched its name onto your skin. It was naive of me to think I would suddenly wake up one day and no longer have the capability of acknowledging the incandescence of the love I had for you.
You will always be a part of me, and with that, so will the pain. That is what I have to learn to accept now. I have spent so much time thinking that I had to bury every trace of joy we shared, leaving my heart like scorched earth. I thought that moving on meant that I no longer had moments of recounting the hours I spent lying in bed with you, suspended in silence but comforted by the indefinite presence of “us”. But I have now realized that I was wrong, and that I will never be able to fully rid myself of you and everything you brought into my life. Instead, I need to learn how to love myself and how to cultivate an environment where that love can cohabitate with the pain and regret. Spring has come since we last spoke, and the flowers that have bloomed must now learn to live in a garden entangled with memories of you, as well as everything you left behind.