I Miss You Differently Now

Matt McK

You’re fading, finally.

They told me you would. Right after you left it was hard to believe, but you are. I wake up now, swing my legs over the side of the bed, and you’re not the first thought on my mind. I have to remind myself to think of you. Six years is a long time. It feels like I should remind myself that you should be on my mind. You should be taking up space there. It’s confusing that you’re fading because some days I like it.

You’re fading, but I still miss you.

I miss you in ways I didn’t even know I could miss a person. Not your touch. Not your smell. It’s not that I don’t miss those things, but it’s not those things that cause me heart to collapse in on itself like a dying star.

It’s how the sunlight looked shining through your hair. It’s the way some of your freckles were lighter than others. The way talking to you was like talking to me, and now even when I talk to myself I can’t get the right words out.

I remember the way your skin sounded sliding through the sheets toward me in the middle of the night. Now there’s nothing. I don’t cry anymore. There really aren’t any tears left and maybe that’s what’s saddest.

My heart is just a heart. There are no more metaphors about it being full of love.

It’s not a Valentine’s Day shaped heart, manufactured on a greeting card. It’s an anatomical heart again…beating rhythmically for no other purpose than to keep me breathing, keep me going. I miss that you made me a walking, living, breathing, beating metaphor. I miss the romance. Now I am only biology.

I miss the lilt in your voice when you called my name. When you whispered my name. When you said it any way you wanted. It’s been so long now that I even miss when you said it sternly during a fight, because at least that meant you were here, and we were still fighting for whatever this was.

I miss your presence. Just you being you. A hand on my back, lips on my neck. A smile in my eye line. Anything and nothing because it was everything but never enough at the same time. I was perfectly content with everything you were, but hungry for all of you, more of you, at the same time.

I miss your softness. I don’t know if you covered it up, or you became soft, but I watched you reveal it, and it became a safe haven for me in so many storms. I wrapped your softness around me like a warm, flannel blanket during a blizzard, and you cradled me there.

But you’re gone now. You’re fading. There are no light and dark freckles. No abrupt laughs. No softness. I don’t know what words to say to myself to make anything better and all I’m left with, it seems, is you, fading into a smaller dot on the horizon as I endure this new storm alone. TC mark

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