We have been a part for so long now it is with a bittersweet sadness I say there are entire days I don’t think about you. Despite the time and distance, your memory still manages to sneak up on me, intruding on my present activities, thoughts, relationship.
I have come to accept the shadow of you will always be there, wandering around the back of mind; my subconscious asking what could have been if we’d just held it together. You are a chink in the finely crafted, seemingly impenetrable armor I have fitted for myself over the years.
Some days you feel like nothing. The memory of you is like smoothing out the wrinkle in a bed sheet, or watching soft ripples on a pond.
Other days it is as though I have run my hands over a beautiful porcelain teacup in delicate admiration only to suddenly slice my palm on a deep crack in the lip. A ripple, a groove, a crack. You will never leave.
People after you have made me question you, or us. Was it real? Why are you still in my head? What is this weight in my heart? Sometimes I think I am crazy, one of those desperate cases doomed to be alone because I cannot let go of almosts to fully embrace right-nows.
Eventually I learned to do this.
Whole days and weeks passed without your face in my mind, or your name on my lips.
I forgot your smell, but never your laugh. It is hard to forget somebody who was always laughing, always making me laugh. We were young and it was easier then.
I wonder most if I will ever be the person I was with you, the version of myself I liked the most. We fell apart and not only did I want to be away from you, I wanted to be away from myself. I buried that girl under layers of somebody I did not recognize and now, years later, I am still finding pieces of her. Some of them are pieces I missed, while others feel unnatural and foreign. We used to play pretend a lot. I guess it’s only fitting I have to pretend I am an archeologist in my own psyche to find myself.
Beyond all the what-ifs, how-could-you’s, and how-could-I’s, I find myself not missing you, but wondering how you are.
I wonder if you’re okay and happy. I wonder if you still wear your hair the same and never cross your “t’s” when you write. And even though I know it’s pointless, every so often I wonder what could have been.
It stops short of anything grand or dramatic. We don’t get married. There are no children. You’re not by my bedside as I die. We go get a burger at 2am like we used to. We talk about music we love and hate. You steal my napkin doodles and shove them in your pocket, later adding it to your collection. We look at each other like cell phones haven’t been invented yet. And in my mind this is where we’ll stay.