I do not think that a day has gone by in the past four years when I have not thought of you, and while you may think that I am exaggerating as I often do, I can assure that I am not in this case. There always seems to be some reminder through out my daily life that sparks my attention and instantly, unstoppably sends my mind to you. The memories may trip me up a little bit but I almost always brush them off without consequence and I have learned to move forward quickly past it before I am carried away by a series of thoughts leading me into wasting time reminiscing on the past, or fantasizing over the future. Some memories are harder than others to shake off, like hearing the few opening notes of a sad song that I used to listen to years ago, bringing a pit to my stomach and a sense of longing for something that does not exist anymore. The feeling is usually fleeting, and once it has dissipated, I am myself again; living in the present and paying no mind to the reminders of the past that tempt me into giving in and reaching out to you. Every day is not easy, however I have adapted to it and now I almost never give you a second thought.
But winter is the hardest. I have some theories as to why winter really make it terribly hard not to be with you. Being home is hard, especially when you are home as well. Our small town seems stuck in a limbo of time and space, and when I am back suddenly I feel as though I am in high school again. Everything that I have tried to run away from is lurking around every spot in town that I have been with you, waiting to pull me into a stagnant nostalgia, that, with the risk of sounding too dramatic, threatens to stop my heart from beating. At least, that is what it feels like.
I guess that being home is hard because being home reminds me of everything we could have been – if we had stayed high school sweethearts, if we had been able to work through all over our past issues, if we could have worked through the distance. If we had not ruined everything between us in our rash naïve notions of love when we were younger. If you were not you, and I was not me. But things happened the way that it did, and we will never get back the relationship that we had together. We equally did our parts of messing up, and making decisions that still make my heart ache to think about. If you ask my friends, they would tell you that it was all your fault, that you treated me terribly and that you didn’t and still don’t deserve me, but I know deep down it was equally my fault that things between us fell apart time and time again. Now there’s too much history between us, and we aren’t the same kids that we were in high school anymore. We have grown up, we went away, and though we fervently tried for a couple years to keep things together, we fell apart. While we have tried in the past to be “together” or arrange certain boundaries or goals to keep us in some way together, we have finally acknowledged it will never work out between us.
Now we just fuck on occasion. I rationalize that it is okay because I have always considered you one of my best friends and even though we are together anymore, you would never do anything to really hurt me. I have convinced myself that I have separated my romantic feelings for you from how I feel about you as a person, and I justify the sex because I can’t seem to find any guy who can make me feel the way that you do. I rationalize, I justify, and I convince myself until I can always find peace in my poor decisions when it comes to you. But I know that I have not been able to truly move on because there is still a part of me that cannot let you go. First loves feel like soul mates. First loves feel like true love. But first loves are not always practical, and we just are not practical for each other anymore. I try to remind myself of this every time I get sad about you but that is always my head talking, my heart is a different story.
When I am home, it is not just a passing memory that I can brush away without thinking twice about it, when I am home you consume my mind. It is no longer a song that I skip over; I am stuck in a bad dream. A bad dream that has endless amounts of what ifs, and whys, and vivid memories of feeling the very best that I have ever felt, paired with feelings of feeling lower than I thought was possible. I distract myself endlessly when I am home. I get too drunk, I spent every moment with my girlfriends who make me feel like I am not crazy, I sometimes even see my other ex, who distracts me just enough to make the pain go away. But when I am alone, I am dreaming again, dreaming of the past, and dreaming of things that will simply never happen in the future.
Even when I am away from home, there are times when you will text me to check in, and there are times when I will text you with some silly excuse, but I know that you are not in the same position as I am. You do not think of me every day, as I think of you. When I finally put that down into words, it makes me feel like a sad, stupid, little girl who is stuck on an ex-boyfriend who clearly does not love her back. Maybe I am that girl. Things used to be a lot worse then they are now though, so I have hope that time will continue to do it’s job and distance myself from the hold that you have on my life.
When I am not home, I can talk to you and not be sad. I can be happy that you are doing well in school and that you are going to have an amazingly successful future. I can even talk to you about girls that you have been seeing sometimes and be genuinely happy. I have come to visit you in the past and we have been able to establish a weird but workable arrangement where we fuck when we can but we stay strictly friends outside of those encounters. It has been fine like this for a while but I dread the day that you finally move on and the last piece of us that has survived is gone. I hope that I am first to truly move on, for my own sake, I will be heart broken all over again. I take pride in the fact that I am one of the only girls that you have truly loved, and one of the only real relationships you have had. I take pride in the fact that you treat me differently than you treat other girls, but when it comes down to it, you are an inherently selfish person and could care less about what I am doing with my time. There have been many times where I have gone out of my way to make things work but that is not the type of person you are, you could care less. I will always mean something more to you, but that will never affect the way that you act in the present or in your future. And even though it used to break my heart, I am finally okay with that. But being home is always the hardest.
Recently when we hooked up, you said to me that you did not believe in soul mates, to which I promptly replied with, “Neither do I.” But what I wanted to say was, how could I? I am scared that I will never love anyone in the entirety that I love you. Even in the fucked up relationship that we have, you are still give me butterflies. I would drop everything if you needed me for some reason, and you know that. You make me happier than anyone ever has, and though I know that I will move on and live a perfectly happy life with someone else who is better suited for me, who will feel about me the way I feel about you, what if I never love him more than I love you? The “what ifs” can really get to you, I guess. You have made into a complete cynic when it comes to love, from hopeless romantic to just hopeless. I have turned into such an anti-love person, that I don’t even have a problem with the fact that we just fuck on occasion now, knowing that it will never lead to anything between us. I have given up on fighting the fact that being with you even if it just for a quick hook up is better than nothing because at least I am feeling something. Until I can find someone else who can take your place, I will keep coming back to you and any feelings that may arise, I’ll put away like I have been learning to do for the last year.
You will be going back to school on Sunday and things will go back to normal for us. I won’t have to worry about wanting to text you when I am out and drunk so that we can meet up. I won’t have to worry about driving around town and remembering all of memories we have built up there. I won’t have to worry about seeing you… at least for a while. Being home is always the hardest.