As I sit and watch the blurred world outside my windows, the raindrops paint a familiar face on the pane. I curl on the edge of my seat, my book now forgotten, feeling a strange mix of both missing him and not missing him. I guess I missed him acutely in the moment night fell, earlier than I had anticipated, fading his face from sight. I say, acutely because I realized I wasn’t missing him at all, the moment before. And in all the ones earlier. I realized I hadn’t missed him in a long, long time. Soon, he will be just one of those I knew once upon a time, and know no longer. His absence won’t feel like a lack because it wouldn’t be felt anymore and although it makes me a little sad that we have come to this, a stage when his absence doesn’t cut my skin open to bare raw, weeping flesh, it’s true.
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This must be what they mean when they talk of healing, must be, because it feels like it. The pain no longer throbs in my guts, like a new, warm flood that gushes in when I try to pull away or slowly fills me when I hold still and breathe. I remember because that’s what it felt like when he left. And that’s not what it feels like, now.
When I am finally faced with it, I must be what healing is- honest. And in all honesty, his love did turn into poison. It cycled through my veins faster than a kid swapping toys. I went from sobbing to violence- in a matter of moments- each competing emotion vying for control over my frail being. After countless nights of tossing and turning on tear-stained pillows and hiding cave-blankets, a sleep-reboot made one such night wear onto a morning of possibility. The possibility of getting jobs done, meeting friends, trying to ‘live’ again. The coping process, sure, spread out like a thin veil, eclipsing trauma because the night brought the sadness back in, the uncertainty welling up, the pain gushing to the fore to meet my fragile heart but I knew it was time to surrender to slumber. I tired myself, each day so I could sleep through the night. How every night of resigned hopelessness stitched my gaping wounds I haven’t a clue, but sure, seems a miracle.
Suggested read: You are not meant to forget him
A miracle because I knew how I was holding on. A little tighter, a little longer. A little more, when it made lesser and lesser sense- because that’s just how much I wanted this love story to last.
A miracle because I can finally admit there’s no holding on to this just as there was no holding on to him.
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As much as I’ll miss missing him or who ‘we’ used to be, I won’t miss the uncertainty that filled my days with him. Never knowing for sure, if he was going to leave or stay. Knowing on some intuitive level that that he was keeping his options open for something better or worse, something different. Having to put a damper on my feelings lest they add some more ‘distance’ to the one that already exists between us. Biting my tongue to keep it from saying exactly how his indifference made me feel, lest it made him leave sooner. There is nothing in these things I’ll ever miss and lately, every time he crosses my mind, I see him leaving and remember all the hurt that caused.
Tonight, as the rain has brought in his memory unbidden, I am remembering how we used to be in a less painful time, in a more happier clime, feeling myself wanting to reach out just one more time, to take to ‘holding on’ just a bit longer, but I am already loosening my grip.
I am letting go.
I am slowly saying goodbye. There’s no reason for me to stay. No reason for me to hold on.
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I am remembering our last goodbye. In the half-light, he seemed like the shadow of a person he once was. Strangely familiar, but still a stranger. Hunched over his luggage, he could have been just anybody- but he wasn’t. He was the love of my life and he was leaving. He had taken our bond for granted and I’d mistaken it for unbreakable. But as his flight pulled away from the gate, I knew it would break, shattered into fragments sprawled across the night sky like twinkling remnants of a dazzling love story. I could beg, plead, get down on my knees and tell him that life here had meaning, our love had meaning but I knew that face- the one he wore when he had closed his mind to all new information, that voice- the husky sound he spat with the full force of stubbornness that’d not yield, so I quit. I wore the mask of ‘being okay’ and wished him well in a voice that sounded almost like the one I had before his plan to do great things far away. I knew it was a transition- a transition into a person I didn’t want to be- I could feel the repulsion rise like bile in my mouth. I tasted it for days, afterwards.
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But I do not have to swallow it anymore.
I am saying goodbye. A final one, a real one.
And it is absolutely okay, if he isn’t hearing it.
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