Wednesday. Not even 24 hours since we last communicated and I’m anguished.
Can you die of loneliness? Of missing someone who was never yours?
I’m distracted by your absence, looking for something that isn’t there. I grab my phone; you’re not there. I walk into rooms without reason. What am I looking for? Something to fill the void.
I wonder about your day. How you’re relaxing at home. Are you busy tying flies for the weekend? The things you would tell me in a normal day. These aren’t our normal days. And I’m aware that the fault lies firmly on my shoulders.
Why couldn’t I be content in what we had? I know why in the deep dark place inside of me, though I can’t say it out loud. But I hear the whispers in my subconscious calling me out.
I’m selfish. I’m covetous. I’m entitled.
Will you use these days to think about me? About us? About our future or lack of one together? Will you be lost in the stillness and release your mind of me for these moments. There is relief in that, I know. I did this.
I want you to come back and know with certainty that you can’t live your best life without me. I fantasize about this though I know it’s the least likely outcome.
To balance, I also practice my speech for when the time comes for you to tell me you have to end this relationship. Not because you want to, but because you have to. To protect yourself. You know you’ll have to do it, baby. I’m not strong enough.
I’m brave when I give you my speech in my imagination. I tell you that I understand and I’m sorry. I tell you that I love you and that my heart will always be yours. I tell you that, and then I delete your number for good. I’m brave as long as my imagination doesn’t make me say this to you in person. When that happens, I am broken wide open right in front of your eyes. I can’t contain it.
I keep reaching for my phone. Those damn red indicators. They make my heart jump for half a beat until I see that it’s not you. It doesn’t feel right not to say goodnight. Sweetest dreams. It doesn’t feel right not to receive a picture of your fat cat sprawled out on top of you. It doesn’t feel right.
I’ve already put myself to bed with a little help from melatonin. I’m exhausted. But also I’m empty and I don’t know what to do with myself. We’ve made too many habits and daily rituals together. It’s reflexive now. And my arms are strapped to the bed keeping me from my familiar.
If I could, I’d tell you that I haven’t had an appetite since Monday when I melted down. That I had to force myself to eat something nourishing today and it took me all day to get it down. If I could tell you that these dark circles under my eyes are because I haven’t been able to sleep well these past few nights, I know what you’d say. You’d say “Sweetheart, you need to take better care of yourself. You’d be so upset with me if I did that. Don’t make me worry about you.”
But I can’t tell you. So I’ll let a tear or two slip down my face onto the pillow and I will hope that you hear me whisper goodnight, my sweet. Sweetest dreams. God help me get through one more day without you.
Thursday. You’re really doing this.
I’m both happy and sad about it. I guess I want to know. I want to feel the absence of you in my daily life and I want you to feel the absence of me. You have a welcome distraction on the lake. I have only my routine day ahead. That’s where you live—in my routine.
I suspect I’ll bump into you several times today. Last night, I dreamt I was swimming on a large lake. I was flailing in danger. I’m a strong swimmer, but this was an unfamiliar lake and I swam out too far. The feeling is still with me, even after waking. Perhaps I will die a symbolic death on your lake this weekend.
Maybe darker days are ahead of me.
We know the right thing to do. I’m bracing myself for the realization of it. It’s coming and there isn’t anything we can do to stop it. Your only decision, really, is whether you do it now or later. I wish I didn’t love you so it would be easy to walk away. I wish the only viable answer was not to tell me goodbye.
They say that it takes 21 days to make a new or break an old habit. I wonder if that pertains to someone who has tattooed you from the inside?
Twenty. One. Days.
I’m pacing. Trying to distract myself from you. I hope the lake has your attention. There is no place to pace in a boat. No place to escape your thoughts. I hope the fishing is good. I hope your friend is good at conversation. My fuse is short and I’m snapping at people. Especially the guy who called me sweetheart condescendingly on the phone today. I told him not to call me that and hung up on him. What’s with me? Dumb question.
I was thinking about some things. Like how there is so much you don’t know about me and things I don’t know about you.
You don’t know that I listen to music every morning while I’m getting ready. That I absolutely cannot set my clothes out the night before because I’ve changed my mind by morning. That I sing in the shower. You also don’t know that I go very quiet and still when I first get home after work. Because I need to decompress from talking to people all day.
You may not know that when my face is relaxed, I look sad or angry. I am usually neither. Though there are times that I like to be sad and I let myself feel it all. There’s so much I learn from those moments. And there is still so much I don’t know about you.
I don’t know how you pray. I can’t believe I don’t know how you pray.
I must have looked at my phone expectantly 100 times today. There wasn’t enough to distract me. I went and saw a movie with a friend and I wasn’t even into it. I went home as soon as it was over because all I want is my bed.
I was hopeful every time my wrist buzzed, but it wasn’t you. I held back so many things I would normally tell you through out my day. I wonder if you are thinking of me or if you are finding contentment not thinking of me.
For a moment I thought I only had to get through one more day without you. My heart sank when I realized today was only Thursday. I have to get through two more days. How many days are in a lifetime? It will take me a lifetime of forgetting you.
God please help me get through one more day.