Most days, I’m the old me, the one I was before I met you. Most days, you’re not even in the back of my mind while I focus on a million and a half things that require my attention. Most days, you’re almost non-existent in my world as I go about writing, working, chatting, laughing, giggling, and dancing.
But some days, you’re there, and you refuse to leave my thoughts. You’re not content with the grudging focus I give you, but demand, nay, command my full attention. Until such a time, you’re but a blip on my radar, who I don’t even give a passing thought to unless I hear your name attached to a different person, or hear mention of a movie that we discussed, or a friend going on that adventurous trip we both wanted to go on. These small yet significant pieces remind me of what we could have had; what we could have been together. It’s always these small pieces that float around near my head that I try to make sense of. It is but a moment, a fleeting desire to pick up my phone and dial that all too familiar number. But I don’t.
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I don’t regret our time together; I could never do that. You brought out a side of me that I loved. You made me realize that I had a flirty side. That I was interesting. That I had a wild side to me that was previously unknown to me. That an innocent, flirty phone kiss from you could set my heart beating wildly. That phone kiss you gave me in the middle of the night would be something I cherished for the rest of my life.
For the first time in a long time, I felt understood, adored, cherished. There was a lightness inside you that I was almost instantly attracted to, like a moth drawn to a flame. And for the first time in a long time, I was happy – truly, utterly, and ecstatically happy. I could discuss anything with you, my hopes, my dreams, my fears, and you were there, never once making me feel like I was aiming too high or my dreams being ridiculous. You were there. With me. But only I was foolish enough to believe that you would be there, no matter what. That you and me, though not perfect, could have been something.
But when we were no longer together, I felt numb. I tried to find you everywhere I looked. In whatever I did. Without you, I remember how much I hurt and how much I cried. I had to numb myself, or I wouldn’t have survived those months. I had to.
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Without you in my life, I had to prepare myself for a new reality, one where I was alone – again. Without that companionship, friendship, and the easy camaraderie that we shared. I really thought you’d fight me more when things went the way they did. I really thought you’d do something to hold on, to try to convince me to give us another chance. But all I received from you was a stoic acceptance. I was screaming inside to let you know that that wasn’t what I wanted for us. That I wanted you to fight for me, hold on to me, and never let me go.
But wishes all can’t become reality, and I had to come to terms with my new reality. One without you. It wasn’t a clean break, at least not for me. It wasn’t over when you left. You weren’t fully out of my life the day we ended. Not yet.
Your name still makes me wince in remembered pain. You are still a face that I see and go down the rabbit hole of ‘what ifs.’ There is so much unsaid left between us. Things I wished you’d asked, and things I wished I’d had the strength to tell you.
I so wanted to love you. I think I was on the precipice, all ready to fall, when the rug was unceremoniously pulled from under my feet. We were both flawed in our own way, and I would have loved every one of your flaws and more. Even now, I think you were one of the few people in my life who saw me, the real me, and still understood. You understood me.
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Even after all this time, I cannot bring myself to let you go or hate you. For what happened happened for a reason, and it just wasn’t meant to be. I want you to be happy, and I hope I get that same happiness too. After all the heartache and pain I’ve endured, I’m due a slice of happiness in my life.
I need you to know that I’m finally in a place where I can admit to myself that I’m okay. I’m okay with you, with what transpired, and how we both reacted to the circumstances.
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Some nights, when I’m lying in my bed with no particular thought in my head, this one idea floats up – what would it be like if we happen to meet randomly. But there’s this niggling and annoying certainty that it wouldn’t be like it was. And I grudgingly accept that fact as I drift off to sleep.
But know this much. You changed me. You are someone I’ll probably remember for the rest of my life, because you’re hard to forget. But, over time, I’m hoping it would be make me wistful rather than sad.
And I’m finally able to admit it to myself.
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