I had to pack you away. I had to put you and us and all those memories in a trunk that I keep locked in the deepest parts of my heart. So that I could move on and stop feeling so sad and lonely without you in my life.
Try as I might, I still sit down with that trunk, sometimes. I still think about you. About what happened to us. About the good times, and the terrible times. About how you were the first person I loved so deeply outside of my family, who I would do anything for. I think about how I hope you're really, truly happy. I think about the pain I may have caused you, and if you think about me still. And I hope that I didn't affect you as much as you affected me. I hope that that wound healed. I hope that it has turned white with age. I hope that it didn't turn red and angry. I hope that when you think of me, you don't have angry feelings.
Because when I think of you, I feel sad. Sad for how it all turned out. Sad because I was so optimistic about us. And about who we would be to each other in the future. Sad because of the hole that you left, that sometimes feels like it still hasn't been filled. Sad because of the memories, but never sad enough to come back.
Because you were right. I wasn't the same person. I'm not the same person. Now, I love myself. Now, I know myself better than I ever have, I think. Now, I stick up for myself, because I know that I am worth it. I don't need someone else's validation anymore. And that has changed me. I know my purpose now. And I know how to be happy and fulfilled by myself. And that has changed me.
I sometimes imagine seeing you at a store five years from now, or ten years, and stopping dead in my tracks. What would come next in that scene? Would I be wishing I could be anywhere but right there? Because the pain of seeing you again would probably be too much? Or maybe it will have been long enough that I will be excited to see you. And I would shout out your name down the aisle for everyone to hear. Will I want to sit there and chat and catch up, because I want to know that you're doing okay? That you're happy and fulfilled? Or will we feel obligated to politely greet each other as if we were not ever who we were to each other? Or... Will we simply not even recognize each other? Will we glance at each other as we pass and exchange a friendly smile, thinking to ourselves, "I know that person, don't I? I think I do... But from where? And from when?"
Sometimes I imagine you calling me, and telling me that you're in town and you want to get together and catch up. And me saying yes, and instantly wishing that I could be that girl. Who wanted to revisit the past with someone else, and relive the glory days of our relationship. And meeting up with you and being miserable the whole time because I should have said no; I should have stayed away.
I think about how I will tell our story to him. Whoever "him" might be. And what parts I will tell in the overview. And which parts I'll save for a little later. Or if I will even tell our story in one go, or just bits and pieces over time. I sometimes tell it to myself. Just to see. And it's different every time. Sometimes I am mournful over it. And sometimes I get angry. And sometimes, when im feeling extra vulnerable and sappy, I cry just a little.
I sometimes think about how I miss you. And I let myself sit there and miss you for a few hours, or a day, or a couple of days. And then, I open my eyes, and look around, taking in the world that I love in now. I pick myself up, brush myself off, close the lid of the trunk and lock it tight. I stand up straight, hold my head high, and I walk away from those thoughts and feelings and memories.
Until next time.