Nothing prepares you for the throb of being a spectator – of having front-row seats to the release of the latest chapter of a tale you were once part of; of a story where you are no longer the muse yet are still kept as a side character: Needed but unwanted.
Had I been warned of what awaited me on the other side as I crossed the line back to the realm of friendship, then I would have walked further away. Perhaps then this wound wouldn’t have to been constantly re-opened day after day. I need no longer hear you speak her name, bear witness to all the things I had hoped you would have afforded me but did not. Had I left without warning, with no return in sight then maybe I wouldn’t have to see how your eyes light up at the sound of her voice, or how you immediately are at lost for words the moment she walks by.
But I am here and I remain, offering my shoulders for you to weep in, providing comfort when needed. And I watch as she slowly begins to see you the same way I do: your kindness, your depth, your passion, your humor. She notices, both the good and the bad and she does not mind for do we not all choose to see the good in those whom we love? She now sees your raw beauty, the gold flecks in your irises, the mole on your lower lips, the birthmark on your neck. She eyes you like a map, a map that only I used to charter.
You begin to create new dreams with her, and the void I left is now filled with her smiles. You bring her to the places we used to go, that cafe where you first kissed me, that museum on 7th street. You laugh with her, sharing jokes you used to share with me, falling into the same patterns we used to. But there were new things as well, new habits I no longer know, new inside jokes, new stories that I might never come to hear.
And it hurts…in a good way.
In this pain I am reminded that I am human — of my capacity to love deeply and overwhelmingly so; That in this chaos and constant disorder, somehow the universe momentarily aligned so that we may collide.
You are nostalgia.
You are serendipity.
You changed me, and hopefully I changed you too.
Many a day we feel mundane and apathetic but to have known you, and to have loved you, surely love must be real. I watched you fall in love with someone else. Maybe one day you’ll watch me do the same.