One day, I will talk about you and say, “Oh, but this was forever ago.” I will smile, and my voice won’t shake.
One day, I will listen to the songs and they will be mine again. I will make our breakfast on a Sunday morning and enjoy the eggs my way. I will wear that dress you liked so much without thinking about how your eyes took it off me before your hands got the chance to.
One day, you will stop being the one that got away.
Or maybe not.
Maybe some things in my life will exist with your name printed on them and there is nothing I can do about it.
Maybe some songs will always sound like you, will always be about the way I looked at you making breakfast or driving us to the coast with our windows down or all the other moments I wish had lasted just a little bit longer.
Maybe some places will look like you, like the ocean, or the stars we gazed at on the first night of the trip that was going to be our last.
No one will feel like you. No one will smell like you, or kiss like you, or touch like you, or be like you.
But then again, who knows?
Perhaps one day, I will stop searching for you in the eyes of strangers.
I will think about this year and you will be part of it, but it won’t be about you. I will see that I am complete on my own, that I always have been, and that you always knew. That I don’t need you for my healing, that I don’t blame you for my hurting. And I will be proud, for pain so raw is only felt by those who have loved bravely.
Most of all, I will be nothing but grateful that I got to meet someone like you.
That we had it in us to go with grace when we knew it was time.
And I will accept that nothing in life is meant to last. That forever comes in moments, that there is purpose in endings too, and that ours happened to be sooner than I thought was fair.
I will understand that timing is never wrong.
So I will stop waiting for you to be ready. I will stop telling myself that I am.
Maybe I won’t stop wondering if you think of me sometimes, or if you miss me, too. But I will stop hoping that you do.
I will stop asking why, or what if, or if only. I will stop questioning if it was real, because I know I was.
I will slowly, gradually, but surely move on from what was meant to be but not meant to last. I will carry it all for who knows how long, but at some point, I’ll let go for good, and it will be okay.
One day, I will find everything I thought was lost in the moment I knew you weren’t coming back. I will realize it never left.
I will remember us, and one day, it will be enough.
I will look back and see beauty for what it was without asking for more.
One day, I will be able to find comfort in knowing that — at least in those memories — what we had will be ours forever.