1. Why He Left You for Her
You won’t ever be given the answers as to why he left you that one evening a few months after graduating university. You drove home from the city planning what the two of you would have for dinner whilst he sat packing bags at the foot of a bed you once shared together, practicing different variations of “I don’t love you anymore” and wondering whether his mouth was stained with the red lipstick of hers that he had found tremendously sexy the night before. You’ll never know what it was you did that drove him away or what she did that drew him in closer, but one day you will realize that often the things we want to control the most in life, are perhaps the things we should leave to the hands of fate.
You won’t understand how dreams can wake you in the night, leaving you flustered and breathless only to have to come to terms with the empty space beside you all over again. Why they lie to you about the return of someone whose loss is as permanent as the memory of a doctor telling a 46-year-old mother of three that the cancer has returned. The hardest of these dreams, though, are the ones you tell yourself when you’re conscious. The ones you create all by yourself on a Monday morning with caffeine rushing through your veins as you sit patiently at a red light. On Friday evenings when the water pours over you, washing you away from reality and leaving you hoping that when you return he will be standing there, shoulders propped against the doorframe, hands in the pockets of his jeans, asking you if it was two sugars or three. These dreams are speckled with the hope of lost loves, tainted with the desire of the great “perhaps” and painted by the artist of our deepest secrets; and we will never understand them because if we do, we may just realize what it is that we really want.
You won’t ever be able to comprehend time and the way it stops for no one. How one moment you’re a 19-year-old university student living in a pot-scented house drinking away what few worries you have, and then suddenly you’re not anymore. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you have to start going somewhere. You won’t be able to understand the way in which time can take people and feelings away, and then serve as the only healer through its consequences, but once enough of it has passed you may just be thankful for it. You will not be thankful, however, for the way it slows down when you start a 12-hour shift the morning after a big night. Or for the way in which it interrupts relationships and leaves behind the “what if’s” and “could’ve been’s” had you met a little earlier or taken things a little slower. The funny thing about time though, is that yours will end. Your time will come to a close and so will that of everyone’s around you, and all you can do at the end of the day is use it wisely enough to be content when it does.
You won’t understand love, and how the first one still manages to haunt you so many years later. The way you put it above everything just for the hope of feeling once more the way you did at 16, completely unafraid and unaware of its paralyzing consequences. And when you witness a love fail for the first time, you will find yourself looking back on memories that feel like a lifetime ago, questioning just where it was that this person became so unfamiliar to you. The worst of all loves, though, are those that go unrequited. Those that turn you desperate and bitter because you were prepared to give them the world, when all they really wanted was her. And although at the time we don’t understand why we aren’t given the chances we believe we deserve in love, more often than not someone or something comes along and we are able to accept all that we could not accept before.
You will never understand life and the reasons behind the passing through and intertwining of random strangers. How the chances that sometimes come your way can be disguised as misery when they’re really an escape route pushing you closer towards your final destination. You won’t ever know where your final destination in life is going to be, who’s going to make it there with you or who might decide to jump off at the final hurdle. You won’t be presented with a map of how to get there or a timer telling you just how long you have to wait until you arrive; but perhaps people are right in saying that it’s not the destination that matters. Even if someone was blessed with an escape route out of your life to discover their own destination, you will always have the memory of the time in which your lives aligned if only for a night, and that is perhaps worth not being able to understand any of this.