The truth is I never got to say goodbye that August morning. I never got to say what I wanted to say as we stood that day looking at each other, both trying to pretend that we didn’t know that it was for the last time.
I should have told you that you came at a time when I had already accepted the fact that I was never enough for someone. That I was someone who always gets left behind; who needed to get used to goodbyes.
Then there you were with your silly jokes and charm, making me laugh, and coaxing every smile that you could. There you were, walking beside me every night, telling me stories of your childhood and of your dreams. There you were, reminding me what it’s like to have someone see you for who you really are and accept you wholeheartedly. There you were.
I should have told you how it felt when you asked me if I was okay. I should have told you how scared I felt when I told you I was fine but you told me you knew I wasn’t. I should have told you that although I was scared, I was mostly relieved that someone decided to look closer. I should have told you how much it meant when you simply stayed by my side because despite saying I wanted to be alone, you knew better.
I should have told you how much I looked forward to seeing you every day; how every moment we spent would stay with me — even to this day.
I should have told you how my heart sank the day we realized that it was time for you to go. That I had actually forgotten that you weren’t here to stay. That despite my past, I believed you when you told me things wouldn’t change. That despite a big part of me telling me to let you go right then and there, I chose to listen to the part of me that hoped.
I wonder, after all this time, do I cross your mind? Do you look up the night sky and remember how much we used to love looking at the stars? How we used to just keep quiet and revel in the beauty of an incandescent sky?
I’d like to think that you still do. I’d like to imagine you stepping out for a cigarette and remembering how I used to tell you that you should stop smoking. I’d like to think that you hear my favorite song and remember me singing along to it. I’d like to think that you would walk home at night and remember how we used to take long walks, talking about our dreams and fears.
I’d like to think that you also wish that we didn’t have to say goodbye. That you wish the universe had allowed our story to unfold.
And I’d like to think that in another universe, we got to stay together. I’d like to think that in this universe, I wouldn’t have to watch you go. Maybe in that universe, I would get a call from you at the end of the day, telling me you’d cook for me. Where you would offer to walk me home after dinner, and grab ice cream along the way.
Maybe in another universe, we get to watch our favorite movies together. You’d get to quote that Matt Damon movie you have watched a million times and I’d get to make you watch those black and white movies that I love so much.
Maybe in another universe, I’d get to wake up from a good dream and not feel bad. Because reality would be so much better with you in it.
Maybe in another universe, I’d finally learn how to cook your favorite dish. And you’d pretend I cooked it just how you liked it even though I wouldn’t even come close.
Maybe in another universe, we wouldn’t need to dread that August morning. We wouldn’t need to stand and look at each other for one last time.
Maybe in another universe, fate would be kinder. Maybe in another universe, we wouldn’t have to say goodbye.