Then, I would never have believed that five years after we split I would still think of him. The hero in me is always surprised to rediscover this fact: That a person can truly be broken. Forever. There is no “It was for the best” here; no hard earned wisdom that I am glad I came by. Our split was simply a complete and utter destruction of my person. Life can be that way. Eventually you have to move on; Life, again, compels you. And, after all, I wanted to be happy again. So, you pick up what’s left, reinvent what isn’t and go on.
I think the
specter of our breakup has changed me far more than our
relationship. Away from the warm glow of naivete, the memories of us seem trite. It is true that only we assign meaning to our experiences. On paper they mean nothing. We hung out with friends. Mostly, we had no fear. We talked about ourselves, our dreams, our childhoods, our parents. Each discussion was a wonderful opening, with no fear of what we might discover or lose. Every fact, every feeling shared was a precious thing to be cherished and savored. Our universe did not understand the possibility of loss.
Eventually, there was another. There always is in these stories. She took him away with a kiss. To explain the complete and utter vacancy of the following months would be difficult. At least there were tangible side effects: the loss of 25 pounds, the withdrawal, the tears, and tears, and tears. To this day I have not replenished them. Only after I rebuilt myself did he want me back. But the me that had been was lost.
It is more than five years later. The person he missed hasn’t returned. I don’t think she will. I look for her sometimes, in boxes of old things, but she is never there. The net is my place now. It is small consolation for a lost self. I know now that our relationship was far from perfect. I know what he has done with his life, and what I have done with mine, and logically, I understand them to be incompatible. What I really miss is the me that didn’t consider such things.
I see him in dreams sometimes. We approach, we talk; we are never lovers. In my dreams we travel asymptotic paths; never crossing, almost touching, our current lives the tiny infinite gap between us. I like my life now. It makes me happy. But above all, I can never forgive him. It’s not that he was perfect. It’s not that we were perfect. It’s simply that he was my Everything, and he chose to leave.