“Fin’lly got over that song of ours; stopped chasin’ little red sports cars,
To check the license plates an’ I quit drivin’ by your place.
I can walk right by your picture in a frame an’ not feel a thing.
But when I hear your name,
I feel rain fallin’ right out of the blue sky.
When the conversation turns to you,
I get caught in a “you were the only one for me”,
Kinda thought, an’ your face is all that I see.
I know I can’t go back when I still go back.” – Keith Anderson
When I think back to us, first I’m overcome with how horribly it ended. I guess when someone means that much to you, there’s no graceful way to exit. There’s no way something like that could ever end on good terms. And it didn’t. Horrible words were exchanged that clearly had been building up for a while and next thing I knew it was over. And in a desperate attempt to try and fix something, I called too much and texted too often but the damage was already done. The stone was already thrown.
Suddenly it felt like I was drowning.
Drowning in my own thoughts wondering how we got here.
But the thoughts that consume me more as time has passed are all the good memories we had.
You were my best friend. My soulmate. So I thought. Of the many things I was uncertain of in my future I looked at you with confidence that you’d always be there. You were my number one fan far before anyone else was. I think back to every vacation you were always welcome on. Because as much as I loved you so did my parents. As much as I wanted you in my life, my parent’s looked at you like you were the best thing to happen to me.
I think back to every fight I had with them and how you always came to pick me up no questions asked. I think back to every gift you surprised me with and how over time it became comfortable but I counted my blessings too. I thought back to the funeral where you were standing by my side and didn’t once leave. And how every accomplishment was achieved with your unwavering support and encouragement.
I think back to no matter how many fights we got in, we always found a way to resolve it. How regardless of the distance between us, it never felt that far. Because when you found someone who would drive 4 hours just to see you for 1, you knew how special it was. I look back at the pictures of us smiling and laughing. I never thought memories like that would later bring such pain.
Now here we are strangers. I know nothing about the life you lead and you know nothing about mine. It’s like all we have in common is this past we want to forget. But I can’t seem to. How do you forget someone who brought so much joy and happiness to your life? Because even though it ended badly I still look at all the good you brought my life.
And here I am a completely different person.
I find myself wondering would you like who I became? Would we get along? Would you agree with the decisions I’ve made and the life I chose? And more than that would you be proud?
Along with not existing in my real life, all evidence of what we were and what we meant to each other too might have been erased across social media but they are pictures I refuse to delete. Because part of me doesn’t want to forget you.
I’m always wary of our run-ins even though there’s been so much time between us.
The first time we crossed paths I resorted to alcohol dealing with it. Nothing good came of that from the things I do remember.
The next time we saw each other it was like we were doing a synchronized dance to avoid each other from across the room. You saw me. I saw you. But we avoided each other like the plague.
Then recently I saw you walk in a spot that’s always been mine. A place where I’ve always felt comfortable. But the hairs on my neck rose as I watched. It hit me in that moment how we really were strangers. I didn’t know anyone you were with. And I don’t know if you saw me or not but I watched out of the corner of my eye. I noticed how great you looked as I analyzed my own wardrobe. They say always dress like you’re going to run into an ex.
Part of me wanted to go up to you, ask how you were. Try and at least be civil this way it wouldn’t hurt so much. But I couldn’t bring myself to do that. What I didn’t want to discover is how this was still hurting me and how maybe it didn’t affect you at all. Any closure I was seeking was solely for myself but I didn’t want to seem vulnerable or weak. Instead, I left. My friends didn’t need an explanation.
So much time has passed. But there are days missing sneaks up on me. There are days I just want to go home alone and cry myself to sleep mourning the past that shouldn’t affect me.
But sometimes the past is hard to get over when it’s with someone you thought would be in your future.