I tried to play aloof when they told me; almost like I didn’t care. But, for a minute or so, I could barely breathe. Thoughts were no longer thoughts at all. They were only buckets of emptiness and confusion. I spun; sitting still, I spun like a top without gravity.
All else is so small. I am a shell of who I thought I was.
We had moments; you and I – fleeting moments. Traces of deep conversations have been left behind in our park. They hide between trees and stretch onto benches named after no one we know. We only ever talked about our feelings. What’s so odd about that? A stolen kiss by a locker somewhere on the fourth floor of a busy building was the beginning of our demise. We were merely spirits that were too young to care and too fragile to withstand what came next.
Arguments were our specialty, really. We had turned them into an art. We embraced every insult, slap, and cry. We knew we could cut each other with words and not leave one hint of a mark. I never cried over any boy more than I cried over you. I refuse to regret it. It meant we cared and it made us feel alive.
You sat there and listened to me murmur about my own contempt; one soliloquy after another about a heart that had yet been broken. I wanted you to break it, I think. I wanted the first break to be as deep and real as it possibly could and I wanted it to be you.
I deleted your number ten times over a course of five years. I could not begin to count how many times we had said our last goodbyes.
Today, my phone is a secret hiding place, filled with: “How are you”s, and “I miss you and your stupid uggs”- all messages from a memory in a high school gym. I never replied. I wanted to, but couldn’t. I had remembered all of the “I don’t want to hurt you anymore”s, the “I’m different now”s, and stood my ground.
The clock stopped. I cried tonight- so much so that there were instances where I forgot to breathe. If I could hold him now, I’d embrace him and promise him he was loved. If I could tell him now, I’d tell him the truth:
To the boy who lit the fire in me…the boy who had the patience to deal with my crazy…the boy who rescued me whenever I called…to the boy who always came back…
Sweet dreams, my almost love. I miss you, too.