Some things are tangible, quantifiable: the miles between us, the number of texts, the hours until I see you next. The important things, those are harder to describe in amounts we can touch, like the fact that sometimes I feel like I already love you too much. I tried to keep it contained by saying “two weeks”, but there was no point to it; we both already knew it. I had told myself that next time, I would stall the fall, but you’re not the next time I expected. You are softer, kinder, easier to trust, and I think maybe that must count for so much more than all the times before. I focus on the beginning now, and hope that somehow we’ll never make it to an end.
The first one is often strange – a linear black and white glimpse of a person I’ve known tangibly for the briefest span of time, but line after line, your shape fills the page like it is filling my days, and because of these words, this is now the way I will remember you always.
I used to let you do most of the talking, but now I have so much to say and I just don’t know how. Silence settled in between the screaming, and I know I’m only dreaming we can work this out now, but I’ll keep trying until you say “when”. I’ll do the talking if you won’t, I’ll love you even if you don’t. I know what I did wrong, and I wish I’d known it all along, but I’m trying now. Does that count at all? Maybe not, but I’m not ready to let go, I’m not ready to stop.
I ache for a peace I never find, with or without you, and I suppose it’s true – we can’t love someone else until we love ourselves. I broke off pieces of myself, trying to fit the mold within my mind of the person I thought you wanted me to be, and now I see that I broke us instead. I thought that we could mend, use glue and tape to make us whole again, but maybe I was dreaming, maybe I was wishing it was more than it is. I’m ready to love you better than I did before, but I’m not sure it matters now, and somehow, it’s almost the perfect ending because it makes no sense at all.
You got lost in her, in curves that seemed to cushion the hard edges of the words you never spoke out loud, and now, in the silence left behind, you are learning to resurface, to breathe, to once again be who you were before her.
There were months when I knew you could call at any time, and I would stay quiet on the line while you jumped from one topic to another. Sometimes I felt smothered, but I would take that over the silence here now, a silence so loud I can hear it pounding in my head. I’d even take the fighting instead, something we both chose for months with no hope of an end, with no way to pretend it was getting better. I wrote you letter after letter in the form of poems never read, though I thought about sending them just to see what you would say. Now everything is too little, too late and there are no words left to say out loud. I remember the day you told me you loved me, in the dark in your bed, and I think about everything I could have said each day since then. I know now that I let too many doubts crawl between us, and I never trusted you enough to simply love you in the way that you expected. I try connecting our timeline in my head, play it over and over as if it will at some point make sense but nothing makes sense in past tense.
You want to just be friends? Fine, let’s talk about the weather and your groceries and the sports you watch on TV, the hockey games you play and the sneakers that you buy, and maybe I’ll even eventually try to talk to you like you talk to me, but right now I don’t really see how I can talk to you like I’m not still in love with who we used to be.