You used to love him.
There was a time, maybe recently, maybe in the distant, so-far-you-can-barely-remember-it past, when he was your everything. When his smile would absent-mindedly bring one across your cheeks. When you would walk a little lighter, talk a little faster, laugh a little louder, just because he was around.
It was simple then, even in the complication. No matter how big the fight or the distance between, you always found a way back to each other. Time and time again.
But those days are no more.
Whatever the reason, he’s become a part of who you were, who you used to be. And you’ve decided to let him go. And it hasn’t been easy. Some days you miss the way he would kiss your forehead. Some nights you feel alone. Some days it doesn’t hurt so much. Some days it seems like you’ve forgotten him altogether.
But anyone who’s been in love knows that your memories sneak up on you sometimes.
Sometimes you’ll be driving in your car, listening to a song and the sunlight hits the windshield just right, reminding you of sunsets on the back porch with him. Sometimes you’ll be laughing at a stupid joke and you remember how he used to laugh, all big, and full belly and out of place no matter where you were.
Sometimes you just remember. You remember him.
And you’ll shake your head, as if to shake him from your thoughts. You’ll close your eyes then open them, willing yourself to forget. The world will wrinkle its nose in disgust; you’ll think the world is right. And you’ll go about your days pretending that what you had didn’t matter.
But it did, didn’t it?
You can’t lie to yourself.
It always will.
There’s nothing wrong with thinking about someone you used to love, someone who used to treat you like you were the only woman in the world, no matter how things ended. There’s no harm in remembering the way someone’s hand felt in yours, or their voice on the other end of the telephone.
You’re not wrong for thinking of him, you know.
The thing about love, is that it builds you. Is that it breaks you. Is that it changes you. Is that when you love someone, you become a stronger, more vulnerable, more beautiful and more complex version of yourself.
And it would be a shame to not reflect on how you got there.
It would be a shame not to think about the man who held your hand as you blossomed into the incredible woman you are today.
You’re not wrong for thinking of him. Not wrong for allowing the thought of him to cross your mind. You’re not wrong for laughing, for smiling, for letting a hint of happiness skip across your heart when you picture his face.
He might be long gone, only seen in the rearview. But he was a part of you, and always will be. And there’s no harm in remembering all the pieces of yourself.