I hear your voice through the telephone. Through static. Through letters pressed by tired fingertips. Through words that I read slowly, committing line by line to memory. Every sentence echoing the sound of you in my head like my favorite song.
So much time has passed—Is it still the same? Will it ever be?
Time has always been my biggest enemy, slipping itself between the cracks of my heart, forcing it to open, forcing each sliver of love to disappear, to cease to exist, to no longer take up space. Forcing me to forget. To let go.
It was like that with us. Time, our only enemy. Time, telling me again and again that we were never going to make it, never meant to be. Time, convincing me to say goodbye. And to never look back.
But more time has passed, and the ache hasn’t gone.
I still find myself wondering about you. Wondering what runs through your mind those late nights where we used to stay up and watch the stars blink across that Midwest sky. Wondering if you’ve found love or if you’re happy or if you ever look at her and remember me.
If I’m being honest, I’m scared that you’ll forget me.
But I don’t know if I can cross this space between us. Time has nestled between the miles, between the lonely nights, between the days where I should have called. And I didn’t. And neither did you.
But I hate imagining endings to stories that were too beautiful on every single page. I hate thinking the goodbye that slipped through my lips was the last.
Because, you see, if I had my way, I’d rewrite time. I’d change the script, the storyline, the plan. I’d drive in reverse, all those miles, until I was back in your arms, just so I could tell you that I loved you. And that I was scared.
And maybe then, time wouldn’t be the enemy.
Maybe we could have given our hearts a chance.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry for leaving. For letting you go.
I hope you know I’d take it all back. That I want nothing more than to be with you, right now. To wake up where you are. To close my eyes and find myself in your arms again, watching the sun rise through those blanket-blinds, our legs intertwined and warm and tired and so perfectly at ease.
I want to wake up where you are, to brush the hair from your forehead, to kiss those lips until you smile in your sleep and put your arm around me, still halfway in a dream.
I want to feel your hand on my hip, pulling me back to you when I reach to leave. I want to stop imagining all the ‘what ifs,’ the ‘could bes,’ the ‘should bes,’ and have it just be us. No obstacles. No pain. No time wedging its way between what we could become.
I want to erase the distance between us, make us both forget.
I want the miles between us to fade like they once did in my rearview.
Just like I tried to forget you, I want to forget the space that has built up between us.
I want to wake up where you are and hold you in my arms, treasure you in all the ways I should have, but didn’t. And I want to feel your forgiveness in every kiss.
I want to start over, with time on our side.
I want you to know what I should have said all those months ago, I love you. I’ll stay.