My lack of writing about her lately hasn’t been an avoidance of the subject, or an attempt to feign some kind of detachment. It’s because my thoughts about her never fully form anymore. Or they come in little bits and pieces, lingering memories in an off-guard moment.
The careful steps I took to avoid the loose tile on the path to her house, so as not to wake anyone when leaving letters in her mailbox. Her saccharine voice when she’d ask what I was thinking, and the first time I couldn’t lie (I’m thinking about how in love with you I am). A tear we shared, as it rolled from my eye to hers. I’ll even catch that uncontrolled giggle of hers in the melody of a song that drifts in the air. So many details found in the sublimity of our time together that I told myself never to forget.
Maybe that’s why it’s still hard not to think about her. Nothing was ever ordinary when she was involved. I don’t talk to my friends about it anymore; there’s nothing left to say. Only memories that follow me like a shadow. I wonder if they avoid bringing up the subject with me anyway.
Sometimes, I still second-guess myself. Could I have saved us in some way? Would things be any different if I had let her heal, or shared more of myself, or given her more time, or been a stronger person? If only vulnerability or infatuation or hopeless romanticism was considered charming. If only love or desire was enough to win someone over.
Maybe I’m just clinging to the fact that I believe she truly loved me back. It was one of the only things in this world I knew was real, and it made my heart swell every time she was next to me. The world made sense, if only for a moment now lost to the past. Or maybe I’m scared I’ll never feel this way about someone again because she was everything I ever wanted, even flawed in all the right ways.
I’ve been ruined, and I don’t mind. Not anymore, at least.
I’d rather be alone than with anyone else. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m stubbornly trying to honour what we had, or a subconscious part of me is waiting for her to come back because my heart can’t give up on someone who made me feel so much. After all, she became my life, and to give up on her would be to give up on myself.
I know I’m not the only one who’s ever gone through this. Fate has proven foresight to be in vain for many a mice and men. Some people lose their spouses — the person they expect to be with for the rest of their lives — and pick themselves up. There’s no reason I can’t do the same.
But I’ve already picked myself up, and I’m happy. It doesn’t matter that she’s not with me now, or that I haven’t stopped loving her, or that she probably doesn’t even think of me anymore. The experiences have left me satisfied and fulfilled. Our relationship may have lasted only a few seasons, but in that time I loved and was loved enough to be content with what I had for the rest of my life.