It’s been 510 days since we’ve been a we. 510 days of you being you and me being me.
Five hundred ten days of silence, a different kind of silence but still no less quiet. This type of silence means that I am fine and that I have hope. Hope that if we are meant to be, time will bring us closer and if we’re not, then it just means we were simply another lesson life needed us to learn.
It means I miss you fiercely but I won’t tell you because it won’t change anything right now.
I still remember a lot of things that made us, us. Memories that I wish my mind would let me forget but one thing I wish I didn’t remember so vividly is the day that we (officially) broke up. That morning, you were leaving on the early morning flight, just like every other Thursday for the past three years and I was still pretending to be in another world for just a little bit longer. The sunrise was just barely peeking through the blinds as you came over to the bed that we once shared and told me you were leaving.
You and I both knew this goodbye was different than all the others. You sat on the edge of the bed as I came to reality. I walked you to the door and our bodies intertwined for what seemed like forever. You said, “I will always love you. I need you to know that” as you walked out the door and I stood on the porch and watched you get in your car and drive away. Not fully realizing that I wouldn’t be there when you returned ‘home’ that Monday.
I spent the next day or so packing up the house we picked out together. The one we couldn’t wait to move into together and the same house that Nala made her first home after we rescued her two years prior. As I finally loaded the last box into the U-Haul, I looked around at what was once my perfect fairy tale to nothing but bare walls and empty rooms. My head was full of so many questions that neither of us could answer. My heart filled with sadness, pain, but mostly relief. I couldn’t believe this was how our story was ending. The house and life I used to love so much has come crashing down to something I didn’t even recognize anymore. So I pulled out of that long driveway and I called you.
I called to tell you I was done packing and the house was empty, and that I had left my keys on the kitchen counter for you.
I can still remember the way your voice cracked on the other side of the phone while I drove down that winding road trying not to let you hear the tears filling in my eyes. For the past six months or so, for you, we were always a question. You knew you loved me but you needed time. Time to explore other options. Time to focus on your career, with which I supported you whole heartedly on since day one.
So, it wasn’t like this came out of nowhere. We both saw this coming from a mile away, but for me it was different because I had already chosen myself over you. The first few days, weeks, months, and even now over a year and half after our chapter ended I still miss you. When I first missed you it was loud. It was behind bedroom doors and cries with no hope for being quiet. It was in smashed picture frames and whiskey filled nights out until 4am. It was destructive and I wore it smacked across my forehead. Then one day, I wiped away my tears, swept up the glass from the frames and put metaphorical (and literal) band aids on wounds I’d been ignoring.
I tried my best to find the person I once was, and for a while it actually worked.
I dyed my hair and moved to a new city that never knew us. I consumed myself with work and people I knew before you and I remembered what it was like to laugh. For the most part it worked, or at least, I do not miss you out loud anymore. There is no crying, there is no peeling myself off of the bathroom floor at 2 AM. I managed to fill in the cracks that were left by your void and I am no longer up all night due to your absence.
Instead, I realized I miss you in the little things, the little everyday reminders that make me remember you’re no longer here. I miss you when I smell that first pot of coffee in the morning. I miss you when Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George appear on my TV at any given time of the day. I miss you at 7pm on weeknights and how we used to dance around in our kitchen to some questionable tunes. It’s a duller kind of hurt now but no less present.
Inevitably I evolved, I changed, and I thought of you and wondered how things would be if we hadn’t walked away. Still to this day, I don’t regret one decision that we made.
I needed to choose myself. I needed to be able to stand on my own two feet like I had before you came along, and find out who I was. A large part of me got blurred in the chaos of what was our relationship and I needed to get that part back.
There was growth that I couldn’t reach being with you. Constantly worrying about you and planning a life that I wasn’t even sure we both wanted anymore. Losing you was rough but losing my best friend was the hardest thing I’d ever experience in my 24 years here on Earth. You don’t realize that after a certain amount of years spent with someone that that one person knows you better than anyone else, sometimes better than you even know yourself.
Our relationship was clouded by remorse, loss, and so much struggle. We were just two twenty-somethings who had no idea how much sacrifice and work goes into relationships. Unaware that even relationships with heaping amounts of love take work. We didn’t know how to fight, how to communicate, or how to listen. I’d like to think that it’d be different now. Time would finally be on our side and the universe would give us that second chance that we deserve, if we started back at square one. Because while I’m not the same person I was when we were together, I am still the person you fell in love with, just better, stronger and happier.
In the end, I just want to be happy and for you to be happy. We had happiness together and maybe we can get back there again and maybe we can’t.
But If this is the end, then I want you to know that you will always be my favorite part of the story, the part I will go back and read over and over again when I want to smile. If we are not each other’s happy ending, I hope we’re the chapter that led to it. But if we are, then I hope we’re both still on the same page when time allows, that we can pick up where we left off and keep writing the rest of the book together, just better, stronger and happier.