Goodbye Didn’t Hurt, It Was Everything After That Killed Me

God & Man

I kept looking at my watch wanting to hang on to those final moments because I knew once we parted ways, that would be it. I didn’t know how I knew it exactly, it was just a feeling I had that everything would be different very soon.

I didn’t want to leave. I just wanted to freeze that moment. Because despite everything I still sat there so comfortably next to you. Like there wasn’t anyone in the world who knew me better.

Your touch was soft and kind and with that my walls came crumbling down. I let you in so carelessly and so easily. I didn’t fear to trust you as much as I did. Every time I confided in you, every time I threw something big your way, expecting you to turn the other way, you didn’t. You were my rock. My best friend. Everything and every thought that began to consume me more and more.

We started as strangers then suddenly everything about you was like a catchy tune on repeat and I couldn’t turn it off as I wanted to learn every word. Suddenly you were stuck in my head but I didn’t mind it.

But it always felt like we were racing against a clock you and me and the inevitable was us parting ways. With every goodbye, I wondered if there would be another hello. And I’d hug you a little tighter not being the one to pull away.

But then it just hit me. This was it. I knew the moment I walked out of those doors it was over.

The questions that rang in my mind was how do you forget someone who gave you so much to remember? How do you go back to unknowing and unloving someone who opened your heart that was so afraid to feel anything at all? But most of all I held back tears walking away wondering how do you look at someone you are madly in love with and just walk away?

We said goodbye like we had many times before only this time I knew there wasn’t going to be another hello for a while. And I looked back as you told a joke that made me laugh. God, you made me laugh more than anyone even knew how. But with that laughter came tears I knew I didn’t deserve. Because it wasn’t all good, all the time.

Loving you came with pain and I knew love wasn’t supposed to hurt that much.

It hurt letting go but it also hurt hanging on to something that had changed as much as it had. There was a shift in us and I think we both knew without words where this was going.

I kept putting my faith in you only to be let down. And I know it hurt you too not being what I needed. But it didn’t hurt enough for you to change or to meet me half way.

I was left always looking at the past envious of it. And I didn’t want to let go but I had to for my own sake and sanity.

But the hardest part about moving on isn’t that final goodbye, it’s everything after that.

And it’s when you go somewhere and do something and you reach for your phone to tell them only you put it back down.

It’s hearing that song on the radio and holding back tears.

It’s waking up and they are your first thought and you reach for your phone and their name isn’t there anymore.

It’s just knowing there is someone out there who just has all this information about you. Someone who knows you to the core of who you are and they aren’t in your life anymore.

It’s the pain of missing someone and not being able to tell them.

It’s the pain of someone asking, how are they and you don’t know the answer.

It’s a name that no longer comes up in your notifications even though you’re looking at their profile more than you’d ever admit.

It’s the pain of becoming strangers to someone you knew so well.

It’s watching some else’s life moving on when you used to be right there with them.

It’s losing yourself to someone because when you part ways, there is no way to get back the parts you gave away to them.

They forever hold a piece of your heart as you have theirs too.

And as you move on and try and heal you’ll search for them in the eyes of strangers just hoping and praying you find a familiarity that feels like home and it’s there you will find yourself again. TC mark

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Kirsten Corley

Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words.

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