At night, before I sleep after a long day, I place a stuffed bear beside me. As silly as it sounds, I would lay my head on one of the arms as if it were yours. Slowly breathing in and out, I try to remember how it feels to lay down beside you, but I can’t remember anymore.
When I am sick and tired, I ask my brother if I can get a hug and try to remember how it feels getting one from someone I love. And there are times when I’m at the height of sadness or happiness and I rush to his room and hug him from behind. I try to remember how your hug feels like, if it is any different from all the other hugs in the world, but I can’t remember it anymore.
When I am by myself, I cross my arms and clasp my hands together, imagining I am holding your hand. I catch myself looking like a fool because I know you don’t have skinny hands like me. I try to remember what your hand feels like — the lines and the joints, the right amount of heat your palms release — but I can’t remember it anymore.
And then there was this one time you mentioned you bought a new perfume because the old one has emptied. And then tonight over the phone, you told me the new one has emptied too. I shed little tears because I didn’t even get to smell it on you. I kept the old perfume bottle, the one that you gave me before I left. I hold it close to me but that’s not you anymore. I try to remember how I breathed that scent whenever I was with you, but it’s different now and I can’t remember it anymore.
And tonight as I write this down, I realize we aren’t the same as before. That the person who left and the person who was left behind go through changes that neither would witness.
And it sucks because we didn’t leave each other behind. We chose to brave the differences and the distance. And if we were given a chance, both of us would be eating lunch together right now. The back of my throat burns as I try to hold back my tears because how can someone be so in love and feel so broken at the same time? They say love is the most beautiful thing and I agree, but this time I guess the beauty is in the ugly tears, wet pillowcases and endless wishing that you were here.
But maybe that’s okay. Maybe after all the times I have yet to cry, my eyes will eventually see through the bokeh my tears create. Maybe there is a bigger picture for the both of us that we should focus on. Maybe tomorrow there will be just one airplane ride instead of two. Maybe there will be no maybes anymore. I may have a million of them but one thing is for sure — my senses may not remember how it feels, but my heart always will.