I am contemplating if I should tell you this story again. I know I’ve told it so many times now, but you always liked my writing, I hope that hasn’t changed. I keep playing those days over and over in my head at night. I usually lay awake as my thoughts race to you. I’m sure you know all of this. I miss our long talks though, and thus I would like you to hear. I hope you’re listening too.
The life that you and I had built was wonderful. The story in my mind makes my heart race whenever I think back through the years making up its pages. It reminds me of the stolen glances. It reminds me how thankful I was that you could not see how fast my heart was beating the first time we met. If you did, you thankfully blamed it on the nervousness and the fact that I was an introvert. I wonder if you knew how scared I was that I would ruin what we had before it was ever ours. Because I did not till I realized it much later. I guess you got a hint though, because that’s when you had first held my hand. And calmed me down instantly.
I would wait for you for days, months, like a child waiting for a gift. Eagerly and looking forward to it and with unmatched enthusiasm. In the days leading up to our meetings, I would walk around my room for hours thinking of what we would talk about, words that would make you smile and laugh, things that would let you forget all the problems and worries in your life. Also, I tried on every nice top I owned, every pair of jeans, every piece of clothing, trying to find the perfect thing to look good in. I was suddenly making efforts to look good, I lost sleep, and more than anything, I hoped.
And after all of that, with my eyes having a tuff time looking at you/away from you in those opening moments, I could think of no clever line, no charming words, just a whatsup in reply to your whatsuppp! I was afraid you would judge me. I do not know if you did or not, but you smiled nevertheless. In those opening scenes you were so far above me and what you deserved was so far beyond me.
But you told me I was cute, which only made it worse, but in the best of ways.
Do you remember the evening we sat and talked about your dreams? That is one of my fondest memories of you. You dreamt of doing something worthwhile. Of making your dad proud and happy. You had dreams of finding success and purpose in life. Over the years, I opened up my soul and let you in. Something I have never done easily or often with anyone. It had been years since these doors opened; years since the light of day illuminated these broken halls. But you were always different. It was as if you knew. Instead of running on these broken stones, you walked steady and you gave life to the shattered walls; cared for the scars that the years had left. Never was there a sprint to an arbitrary finish line or some selfish goal, just the serenity of the time you and I spent together. And apart. You knew that I was fragile, no matter how solid I held myself out to be, the cracks beneath the surface ran deep. The only thing you cared for was me, in whatever condition I was in, at that time, you simply wanted me. No matter how slow you and I had to walk, you were glad to simply walk with me. You wanted to make me better and not get tired of my faults. You were patient and diligent. You were always there for me. I’ve never known that love before, but I know that it is rare and I know it is something people search till the end of their days for and the light fades on their empty hands.
I still wonder if you knew that my heart would constantly jump to my throat around you, even when our newness had faded. In the early morning you would gently stir, your hair disheveled and messy, but so beautiful to me. Then again, everything about you always was. Hearing your laugh drift through the rooms, the smell of your Brut, a hand on my waist and my heart would sprint. People have told me that feeling fades with time. Luckily, it never did for me.
I know that those days we can’t get back. There are memories of you that I treasure, but I fear will fade with time. I desperately pray that if you look back at your time with me, you’ll see it as worthwhile. You were never one for words, but you tried to tell me how much you loved me, or when words failed, tried to show me. With an effing brilliant house made with your own hands.
You must know that you made me better; made me whole. I know that I can’t possibly thank you for that, no matter how much I try. You hold a place in my heart and your love has reached even deeper, going somewhere beyond it. But today there is such a profound emptiness where your warmth used to be; such a longing wait; serving as a reminder of how special our story is.
I often find my mind wandering to our favorite spots; the window seat overlooking the street. The walks we have taken. I like to imagine you are just in the kitchen getting tea, or sitting silent next to me. Playing music on the laptop. I know it’s foolish, to live like this and give credence to these thoughts. But that’s all I live by in place of you now. You loved to sit and play the guitar, or read a book, or just watch the day pass by you. I always found comfort seeing you in your favorite boxers, slowly drinking in the world. I’m drawn to many of the things we used to do. I feel drawn to walk your favorite paths, see the movies you loved, and hear the songs that moved you so. I’m desperate for ways to feel close to you once more. I hear your voice echoing through the days, the songs I know well, but your voice has begun to fade. I am tired of just listening to the echoes. I want to listen to you.
Its strange, the manner in which you have slowly drifted away. I don’t know how to put that to words, or if there are words enough to tell you how. But, I think the unexpectedness of it all has made me numb. The helplessness of having no choice in the matter; knowing that you do not feel anything awkward about it. Trying to tell myself that it is just a phase. Over and over again. It was only recently that I began to ache, to feel the loneliness place its icy fingers around me. Every morning, I found myself looking to see your disheveled hair and your smile after you telling me you want to hug me. And wanting to ask me why I am so far way. It’s just me now. Asking the same things. To myself.
I remember the lines of grey and black; the tear streaked eyes, and crumpled hands and the curled toes. The apologies and condolences and the question of what are we going to do? What else? What now? I tried being the strong girl who does not care for a bit. But I do not want to do that anymore. Life has never come naturally to me like it has to you. It was your love of it that provided me hope and courage to do the things I did not know I could. Now, when you tell me that you do not feel the same way anymore. And you do not know what to do; I am the one who is lost.
I look for ways to fix this, of something I can do but there are things you can’t fix alone, stories you can never experience again. I feel like a lone fighter, like hitting against a blank wall. Like shouting out loud but no one is listening. Like going downhill at a very high speed. The sound of our story crumbling deafens me and rips at me. Sitting in silence I realize that it is just you and I, but not the way it once was.
I hope wherever you are or whatever waits for us after all of this, treats you well. Not because I believe in something bigger and better, but because I can’t stand the thought of not being with you or not hearing you laugh, or sing, or watch you just be. I refuse to believe that this is all there is and that the greatest happiness I ever knew could end like this.
It’s difficult to speak to an unfeeling stone, to weep in front of blankness. I constantly imagine footsteps, as if you are running to comfort me. I know it’s just my mind, but my heart gives way to hope.
I can hear you now, “don’t do that to yourself, it’s not fair.” And you’re right, it isn’t. But what am I to do? The ghosts of the times that have passed are shackled to me; I feel their weight across my back. I feel both, their presence and absence in the shortness of my breathing and the unrelenting tears when I think back to you and us. And how we are right now.