I think it’s true what they say, you have to live through a year before you can truly let go of someone. Up until now every single day has been plagued with ‘this time last year…’ And it’s been difficult some days, the days when it was a year since we moved into our first home together or a year since we were sat around your parents’ dining table on the holidays drinking tea and finishing off dessert. But on the day I needed Facebook to remind me it would have been our five year anniversary, I realized, you are already a stranger to me.
Because of course there are the days when it’s a year since I stopped going to bed with you, when our evenings were spent in separate rooms and I stopped listening to how your day was. And I’m sorry for those days but I’m even sorrier for keeping that version of you tucked away inside my heart. I’m sorry I didn’t let you go sooner.
I guess I always thought that to leave someone and to no longer be in love with them meant it would be easy. It meant I would no longer think of you or meet you in my dreams.
But I was wrong.
I don’t know how to forget someone who I shared four years of my life with. I don’t know how to make you a stranger or how to stop slipping you into conversations or how not to be reminded of you at the most bizarre, insignificant moments.
It’s like you live everywhere; there’s ghosts of me and you kissing on park benches and holding hands by the river. There’s memories of you locked away inside my mind and I have no control of where and when I find the key.
So I’m writing this for you to say goodbye, the goodbye we never really got because you said you couldn’t do it and in a way, goodbye never felt right for us. I always imagined we would stay friends. That one day you’d text me as if nothing had happened and maybe we’d meet for coffee and talk like we always had, two people with the same values in life.
I wish I could sit with you and talk about your love life and not feel an aching in my heart but of course, you can’t. I can’t.
I realize all of this. And I realized it again when I opened that box, the one where I kept all of the sentimental things I couldn’t throw away—every card, every photograph and every random note you or I left around the house. I sifted through them and remembered how much I did love you and how I honestly saw a future for us. The words you wrote warmed my heart and made me believe I was worth being loved. You did that. You made me believe I was worthy and even now, I cannot thank you enough for that.
But that’s where you’ll stay and where I’ll keep those four years we spent together; locked away in a box miles from where I am. I will not open it but I will not throw it away. Not in my thoughts for it’s too much now.
So I’m letting you go, I’m letting you become the version you are now. The person I don’t know. I hope you find the kind of love you deserve, the kind I was unable to give and I hope you live all of those dreams you spoke so passionately of when our fingers danced together in the moonlight seeping through the curtains.
I hope you don’t think of me, but I hope you know I’m so glad you were my first love. I’m so glad I got to spend those years with you and that love, that feeling of absolute euphoria. You will remain in the memory box, not touched by time or reality or the cruelness of the world.
Goodbye, old love. You can be free now.