Bluffing

This is my last letter to you. I’ve written plenty, all of them longhand in the journal you always said I was “organized” for keeping.  It’s the last day of 2015, and soon, I’ll have been without you longer than I was with you. I’m trying to figure out how I feel about that.

From the very first second I laid eyes on you– all long limbs and modesty and that goofy grin– I knew. I know that’s cliche. Vistas of our future opened before me, vast and featuring a content version of myself that I hadn’t been in years. I was content, for a very long time, almost until the very end.

Somewhere along the way, though, I guess I became tedious to you, one of your Xbox games with an unbeatable level that you didn’t really care about the ending of, anyway. You shut me off.

Except you didn’t. I’m still human. I’m still living, breathing, and occasionally, hurting over this. I miss you like mad some days, when a random show or song reminds me of you or someone mentions you (most people have gotten the memo– mention your name and get yelled at by my mom). Most of the time I just miss talking to you before I go to bed, of the stupid inside jokes. I miss being excited for our life together, I miss the things we could’ve had.

In the never-quite-darkness of my room, I imagine scenarios where we meet, years from now. You are far more forthcoming with your feelings that you ever were when we were together. Time has made you more open, and you tell me everything you felt, why you basically forced me to leave. You usually tell me you were scared, scared because you were so young, that it was too much too fast, and then my brain wanders to Joel and Clementine from Eternal Sunshine.

eternal

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, Focus Features)

That’s never going to happen, though. You’re never going to tell me you wish I’d stayed, we’re never going to speak again. I’m trying to be okay with that, I really am. I’m trying to be okay with never knowing what happened, what went wrong with our relationship when everything seemed to be going so damn right.

I don’t think anyone’s told you this, so I’m going to leave it here: I didn’t mean to leave that day. It was like telling a kid you’re going to leave them in the grocery store if they don’t stop throwing a tantrum, you know? “Okay, here I go… I’m leaving, bye…”.  I was bluffing, but you called it, didn’t you? You didn’t stop me.

You won’t read this, but it’s not for you, really. It’s for me. It’s to get all this out, so I can leave it in 2015. I want to go into the new year without the memories. I want to erase you, everything from the precise color of your eyes to the way you’d take your tea (milk, two sugars). I don’t want to drag the memory of the way we were into this fresh new year. I’m leaving you right here, on the last square of the calendar.

No bluffing this time.

 

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