You’re Allowed To Forget Them

woman standing shoreline
Kylo / Unsplash

They’ve escaped your life; refusing to return, leaving you with abundant traces of the past; mementos, memories, tokens of their wavering love for you. As you caress their belongings, you wonder if you will ever let yourself forget the sweeter days; when they wrapped you in their arms, when you both frolicked through the streets together like children, when life felt carefree as you leaned on them, laughed with them, loved them. But, to you, forgetting the one you loved and lost is the most bitter form of sacrilege; a vehement betrayal of years of memories, a crime against the bond you swore you would never break.

You cling to your perception that the one you loved is sacred; too pure to subject to an everlasting haze of forced amnesia, but you’re allowed to forget them.

You’re allowed to destroy their photographs. You’re allowed to watch as flames encircle your memories of your lost love; scarring the picturesque scenery of joyful moments past, blazing through reminders of smiling eyes and flushed cheeks. You’re allowed to feel at peace as you watch the smoky remains of tattered photos billow and curl in the gentle breeze, floating away from you as effortlessly as your loved one left you.

You’re allowed to lose their love letters. You’re allowed to delight in tearing their long-held promises to shreds; the vow that you would always be theirs, the oath that they would never break your heart, the troth that they would love you until eternity. You’re allowed to cherish the moment their spilled ink, formerly embossed on faded pages, becomes unrecognizable; a jumble of mismatched characters feathering the cool linoleum like the first winter’s snow. You’re allowed to feel at ease as you stuff the remnants of their syrupy words in bags and boxes; relishing the joy of banishing your love from your mind, just as they abandoned you.

You’re allowed to let go of their possessions. You’re allowed to savor the moment their favorite cologne, infused with memories of soft kisses under sweet pines, flows down the drain; an impeccably aromatic river to nowhere. You’re allowed to toss away their sweatshirts with the cheerful irreverence of days past; cringing at the sour taint of their scent as you resolve never to dream them again. You’re allowed to leave the watch that graced their wrist, the ring that embellished their finger, the necklace that caressed their neck irreparably tangled, rusting and gathering dust, just as they tarnished your love.

You’re allowed to move on; to leave behind the traces of your lost love that remained only to taunt you. You’re allowed to discover that ridding yourself of their memories is not an unspeakable act of treachery, an unrepentant, sinful deed, a suffocatingly irreparable betrayal; it is the heart’s pristine healing; the soul’s immaculate cleansing. You’re allowed to turn their burden into blessing; to create flowing rivers, downy snowfalls, and warm fires from your eternally blemished memories of your loved one. You’re allowed to forget them; to let the distant haze of the past envelope your entire being as you long for a future awash in everlasting love. TC mark

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