lovers past.


I think about you every day, if only for one swift and fleeting moment. Sometimes I glance in the direction of the apartment we used to share when I pass the building on my way to work. I wonder if you still live there. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a light in the window. Nearly three years later and I still don’t know where to unpack all the memories from that place…I don’t know where they belong in my new life, if anywhere.

I think about you when I see a couple in a restaurant sitting on the same side of a booth. I smile and silently poke fun at them. Small moments. Like that. They pass without acknowledgment. I notice and then turn my attention back to whatever’s in front of me. I wonder if that happens to you, too.

Sometimes I fantasize about the words I long to say to you…words I’ll probably never say…words I’ve been mentally drafting and revising for a very long time now. I could write a book.

Against all will and desire, my brain compares and contrasts. You and him. Once and now. It’s futile, I know – like comparing apples and oranges if apples and oranges were as unrelated as spaceships and seagrass. My hand fits differently in his than it did in yours – not better or worse, just different.

Mostly, I compare who I am now to who I was then. Part of my heart will always weep for the choices I made…for the myriad ways I failed to love you well. ‘When you know better, you do better’ – that’s what they say. I now know better, so I do better, but it doesn’t do you any good. And so the ugly parts of the story remain as true today as they were back then. Remorse gathers dust on a shelf.

I think about you and me. Now. As we are…as opposed to who we were. I wonder if you’ve grown and blossomed and wholly transformed, as I have. I wonder if you, too, have stepped into your bones, discovered who you are, found happiness there. I hope so. I imagine so.

It occurs to me I can no longer remember the sound of your laugh or the shape of your feet. Like the shine of a penny, those things wear away over time until they are dull and lost. It’s as if we’ve never met.

There are places I never again visited; I doubt I ever will. Restaurants and ‘secret spots’ and pieces of shoreline…entire cities, even. Sometimes I like to imagine the ghost of us occupying those places – wandering around, holding hands, laughing with one another across a table. So much time has passed, but the thought of returning still feels wrong…like the desecration of something beautiful, a promise broken.

I hold you and carry you now, in a way that is light and congenial – without struggle or pain. Ours is a story that continues to teach me and guide me.

In that moment or two when I think about you and remember something small or big or in-between, I turn toward it and let it wash over me. I let it come.



4 thoughts on “lovers past.

  1. Like Garth Brooks said “I could have missed the pain but I’d of had to miss the dance”. This post really resonated with me. I do wonder sometimes and I do ponder the differences. Some things are better, others not, in a new relationship. Both were/are good enough…..or so I thought….until I knew better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That song still gets me every time I hear it! And it’s so funny you mentioned it because I thought of it when I was putting this together. This post was largely the result of bits and pieces…fragmented random thoughts gathered over the past several months. So often, we’re made to feel as though there’s an appropriate time to reflect on a relationship before we’re supposed to “get over it, already.” That hasn’t been my experience. It’s so helpful to know others can relate 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

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