I woke up last night and looked over to my phone. It was 3:30am. My arms were heavy and my eyes were exhausted. I had an overwhelming feeling of neglect, as if there was something I was supposed to do but didn’t. And as thought about my day before, replaying every moment in my head, trying to figure out what was missed, there was nothing. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was. Everything was in its rightful place, in the proper spot of designation, in the appropriate section of my day. And as I put my head back down, the feeling of emptiness remained, like an uninvited house guest that has put her feet up on the coffee table. And so my mind began to wonder. I thought about my next day at work, about what I needed to do, about who I needed to call and about how things should be done. I thought about running errands the next day, about what groceries I needed to pick up, about which milk usually lasts the longest before going bad. I thought about the 3 different books I’ve been tampering with, trying to remember their plots, characters, settings, and conflicts. I thought about a joke told by one of my best friends, how silly and tasteless it was, but still amusing. I thought over the past few weeks of my life, scanning through people, events, and gatherings and thinking them over and over to the point of exhaustion.
And then I thought about us. About all the things we did. All the laughter we shared, all the smiles, all the places that we’ve been, and all the memories we had. And watching football at 10am while laying in bed will always be yours. So is wandering around the city at 2 in the morning. Mid-afternoon walks by the water, that’s you too. And of course, sitting in our favorite spot looking towards the skyline will always be you. And I thought about the last time we spoke. About what you said, about what I said, about the words that came out of my mouth and if they were the right ones, if I said the right thing or if I said something wrong, if I was misunderstood. And as I tried to explain myself a thousand times over, again, the outcome was all the same. That’s the thing with memories. They’re stubborn, unrelenting and often painful reminders of what has happened. And as you try to reason with them, trying to negotiate a different outcome, all you are left with is another reminder of what could’ve been. Another step back, another lapse in judgment. Memories don’t live like people do.
Sometimes you know it’s the end. You stop thinking about what time it is over there, you stop relating to what she is doing, stop trying to check up on her. And you slowly remove every reminder of her in your life, until all that is left is too small to matter. It is better this way, it will get easier.
All good things must come to an end.