Today, while I was driving, I thought about you, about us, in flash photography form. Our most pivotal moments in 5-second bursts. Years of memories as short snaps in my mind.
- I thought about the day we met. You smiled and my whole body got warm, and I thought, “oh, shit.” Your smile felt like home from the moment we met. How you handed me your number on a receipt and nervously scurried away. You were so charming.
- I thought about our first date. I told my best friend I was in it for the free dinner. I ended up buying your drinks that night.
- I thought about the first time we said goodbye. You were so established, and I was barely figuring out who I was. You said the thought of letting me go made your heart race, you were so anxious, but I didn’t have room for one more. You said, “please don’t settle.” We never could get goodbye right.
- I thought about coming back to you. It felt involuntary. I’d never felt a pull towards anyone like that.
- I thought about that time I walked into our neighborhood bar, dressed to kill, you said, “I’m speechless.” I’ll never forget the way you looked at me.
- I thought about the way you would say my name when I didn’t respond quickly enough. “MICHELLE?! Michelle?”
- I thought about that time in Dallas after the Courtney Barnett concert. I told you, no matter what happened between us, I was just grateful to experience love like that. You made me patient. You made me understand what unconditional, selfless love felt like. You looked sad when I said that. Like you wished you felt the same.
- I think about how dark it got for me, how I lost myself in loving you for a moment there. Why weren’t we enough? I saw the love in your eyes. I knew how you felt or was I crazy?
- I think about how you finally let me go, you finally loved me enough to set me free.
- Then we’re laughing in bed, I don’t remember why anymore. But, it’s the purest love I’ve ever known.
You always made fun of me for taking the long way everywhere. You’d call while I was driving and ask, “there she goes again, wandering aimlessly, in true Michelle fashion.”
I wonder if anyone else will ever know that little bit of information about me. If they would find my weird tendencies as poetic as you do.
If you asked my friends they would say I loved you too much. That loving you changed me, and they’d be right. But, there was love, and then there was you.
The truth is, I have accepted that we will never be an “us.” But, there will always be a corner of my heart that belongs to you. You made me want better for myself. I’m sorry at the end of the day, wanting better for myself involved walking away from us. I deserved to be someone’s first choice, the way I would choose you though. So, I had to choose myself over you this time. God, that was hard.
The truth is, thinking about you stopped hurting. Now it’s a corner of my mind I go to feel at home. I will always love you for making me love myself.