I don’t know why you still run through my mind as much as you do. I would love to tell myself that it only happens in fleeting moments, or in times when my mind is idle, but I was raised on honesty, and that would make me a liar. You run through my mind at 2 in the afternoon just as much as you did at 2am when I was laying in your arms. Just as much as you did on Saturday mornings, when I would climb out of bed and you would pull me back into you, forceful but gentle. I’m convinced that no woman in her right mind would have been able to resist the re-invitation. Just as much as you did when you cuddled me at night, all night, when our naked chests pressed into each other. Just as much as you did the very first morning when I woke up in your bed; unfamiliar yet so familiar at the same time, the kisses down my back felt as light as I did when I first woke up… free, unrestricted.
If I knew that back kisses would turn to a bittersweet ending, I almost think I would have called myself an Uber in the middle of the night and saved myself the heart ache.
Sometimes I think about May. About my first visit home after being in this place for so long. They say a lot can change in a year. I know my mind will instinctively begin to race with thoughts of you even days before we have the meeting that is inevitably going to happen again. I wonder if my heart will drop to my stomach the second I step off the plane, just knowing that thousands of miles no longer separate us. Knowing that I could drive down I-64 East and make my back to your driveway with no GPS. Because in the same way I memorized your body, I memorized every turn on the hour drive that would lead me back to you.
Then I think about the day when I see you again. I wonder when my brown eyes match with yours, if time will suddenly progress in slow-motion. If, even for a minute, it will just be the two of us capsuled in our own time and space… like it used to be. I wonder if when I come back to my senses, time will double time, begin to move at an almost uncomfortably fast pace. If I’ll yell at you across the room about how we haven’t spoken since October 1st and I am still writing about you, if I’ll scream out all the ways that you broke my heart even in your absence, if I’ll throw the shattered pieces at you with everything in me. I imagine myself mentally struggling with gliding past you, dripping with a new grace and confidence. Or desperately crashing into your arms, hoping to feel what we had again. I wonder if you’ll be able to smell it on me, the struggle, the angst. Or see what no one else can see oozing from my pores, the hurt, the confusion.
You always paid very close attention to detail, to me.
Other times, I think about September. I think about the last day that I saw you, held you, and breathed you in. I was cold and you wouldn’t let me wear this old, long-sleeved shirt that I pulled out of your drawer, but I like to try and push that detail out of my mind because then I am forced to swallow the fact that you weren’t as magical as I made you out to be. That you were a real human being, with real flaws, but I made you out to be so much more. How it all seemed so infinite. And how now I do everything but physically rip my heart out of my chest going over and over and over again wondering how we got here. Wondering how you looked at me on a Tuesday like I was everything, and then disposed me on a Thursday like I was nothing. And then wondering if I was actually everything, or if love and deceit could possibly both exist inside of you.
I read a book once that said you should make a man wait 90 days before he is allowed to sleep with you. Make him wait 90 days and he will surely prove himself, surely he will commit. And while this rarely happens, sometimes I think about July. When your parents went out of town and you convinced me to stay with you. You showed me your baby pictures, I met your dog. It was raining and then I met you in a different way than I have ever met you before. We became an entanglement of limbs as you thrust inside of me for the very first time that night, forceful but gentle. Seven months after we met. 60 days, 90 days, 212 days, it doesn’t matter if they don’t want to stay… the author of that book clearly didn’t pay attention to detail like you. But sex was never the basis of these butterflies. It wasn’t even something that I needed from you and with or without it, I know that my heart would be broken the same way.
And after examining and re-examining and cross examining all the months that have passed and the memories that each of them hold, I am forced to sit down and examine reality.
Honestly I hate looking at this, at you, at us, at me, through logical eyes. I think about all the growth I’ve experienced in just these three months and how I’m no longer the same woman who loved you in September. How even if I wanted to, I could never force the butterfly I’ve become back into that same cocoon of 22 year old Micah who loved everything about you. See, I’ve had a half birthday. I’m 22 ½ now, and I am different. The skin regenerates every 27 days. Scientifically speaking, you’ve never even touched this body. I hate thinking about how that truth also applies to you. How much I’m sure you’ve grown, how you’ve had new experiences that have shaped you, too. I find myself selfishly wishing that you could stay the same. Wishing that I could come back and find you malnourished. Find you pleading for a taste of my brown sugar laced encouragement to once again help you get through some of the most distasteful days. But the logical part of me knows that man is no more, that loving you again would in many ways be meeting you for the first time.
You were my second heartbreak, a pain that I would never wish on someone once, much less twice. I know there are people who have lived through much more and I find myself questioning the source of their strength. I have almost been driven to the point of never wanting to love someone more than they love me again. To never settle for convenience and ease again. Even when it feels like the best convenience and ease in the whole entire world. They say that you have to be careful with matters of the heart – because the depth of your love today is the depth of your wound tomorrow. With that in mind, I know that I loved you, because there are days when it feels like I have been cut right down to the bone.
But in the midst of the pain, I also think about December. I think about today. I think about right now. I would love to say that I think about you less, but I don’t… I just think about you differently.