Most days, you don’t exist in my world.

Most days, I am walking and breathing and focused on a million other things. You are rarely ever the focus. You are a footnote that I don’t even think of until I pass by someone with your name, or a friend makes a pop culture reference I know you’d get.

I always find you in small pieces, never completely whole. It is a moment. A suppressed memory. A fleeting desire to text and see how you are. But I don’t.

I slip with the drunk messages and let questions I later regret fly with such an ease, I should probably think of locking up my phone. But with you, I don’t. With you, I remember how much it hurt.

I remember how hard it was to get back up off the floor and that I would have waited for you if I hadn’t.

With you, I had to numb myself. Or I would have collapsed. Permanently.

We understood one another in the ways only someone who has dealt with overwhelming grief can. There was a darkness inside you I could see. And it didn’t scare me. I felt it too.

But when we kissed, it was light. When we spoke of our hopes and fears, I could see a way out of the bleak. It would never be perfect. It would never be the way it was before we learned loss. But I just knew, I just knew – you and me, we could have been something.

In my truest moments, when I do not have the shield I crafted when you walked out my door, I think it’s still true. But she must make you happy. This is what I say when I cannot fall asleep because the night I held myself alone on the cold floor still haunts me.

It wasn’t a clean break. Perhaps, for you. But for me? It wasn’t over when you left. Life can be funny like that. Or just an asshole, depending on how you slice it. You weren’t fully out of my life the day you left. Not yet.

I never fully loved you, but I was so close. I was at the door knocking and had you opened up, instead of walking away, I think I would have.

You are still a name that hurts my stomach.

You are still a face I see and I think about the what-ifs.

There is so much unsaid between us.

Things you never asked and things I didn’t have the strength to tell you.

 

shares