I Never Should Have Let You Go


my memories of you are fast and flashing, constantly on repeat from the minute we met until we kissed goodbye in cody, wyoming, what i now know would be the last time. i can’t even cry anymore—my entire body is dehydrated from the tears swelling and spilling over my bloodshot eyes.

you know that feeling when you’re running for far too long and you want to stop but for whatever reason, you can’t? or when something punches your chest and knocks the window out of you? you have left, taking a huge, gaping piece of my inner existence with you. my heart is heavy, like the entire weight of our relationship now rests atop me, suffocating in a way i’m happy to endure because it reminds me this was something. the gravity of what i feel runs parallel to how much i love you. but i never needed your absence to magnify what you mean to me.

grief is something we all feel. but no one has felt this grief like i mourn for you.

i got in the shower and wondered if the strangers walking past my hotel room could still hear my cries. i sat there, water endlessly pouring, like my love for you but with nowhere to go. my teeth shattered in the ways our bodies vibrated in sync when we first met. i close my eyes and am taken back to that moment. hi. you have triggered a new wave of memories to the forefront, things i once forgot.

i don’t understand this. and while i know you don’t believe in god, and i don’t really either, are you watching me? can you see me break for you in a way i never expected to?  i imagine your ghost watching me, you finally realizing how much you mean to me. which isn’t even the point of this.

it’s like wanting to cry out and puke up and cast aside and leave behind all these emotions i can’t process. shatter my bones so then at least the pain i feel is tangible in a way that doesn’t make me feel crazy.

come back.

come back to a life you are going to fulfill. you have classes and family and friends who would do anything for you.  there are rocks you have not yet climbed, which seems so trivial, but you are not finished here. i don’t need to list all the miracles you have waiting for you to come back. i wish you were a miracle of revival, but then again, meeting you was a miracle already.

i’m sorry i didn’t text you back. i’m sorry you treated me in such a way that made me always wonder where i stood with you. i wonder if you were dealing with demons you never deserved when i know this was merely an accident. i believe in timing and fate, the very things that collided us together that night. so perhaps if i had texted you back a few short weeks ago, your life would have been altered in a way that you got to spend a longer portion of time here on earth. that i could have been a friend to watch you grow, to cheer you on, to celebrate all of your accomplishments.

i know it’s selfish, but i don’t care.

i cried. then my eyes ran dry. and then i cried again. this cycle on repeat like the moments of you kissing me, until finally i thought i was through. and then i was wandering the halls at work, trying to find a private place where i could break down and scream, others watching the tears build in my eyes, not even fathoming this is so much more than a bad day. this has made it a different life. before and after existing as one world where we both walked, and one where you have left.  there’s something to be said that love does not understand time or space. you were miles away, but you were still here.

i’ll never hear your voice. i’ll never see your smile and your eyes eager when talking about things you look forward to.  i’ll never feel your arms around me and taste your lips on mine. i wish to change things that can’t be undone. i don’t believe this.

it’s not like i am sad and this is some new reality i have to accept. i do not accept this. i am broken and have to keep on living in a world with one less person i love: you. i am forced to continue. is this what happens as life slowly takes away from me the ones i love? that every time, i will be instantly transported to another reality i don’t want to exist in? i don’t want to live without you; more simply, i don’t want to live in this world without you in it too. but i don’t want to die. you wouldn’t want that. you would want me to keep on living, but that’s such a cheesy hallmark thing to say, maybe because it’s so true.

it makes me angry that i’ve spent years writing in your name, pouring a love you probably couldn’t even begin to understand or hold. and now i’m angry that when i’ve finally loosened my grasp on you, i lose you completely. once again, your name is brought to the front of my mind all the time, every time. my body oozes in shades tinted with you. you gave me something no one else can compare to.  someone i have loved for years and counting is gone, no longer here, passed away, dead—that sounds so aggressive.

i imagine your body ascending to a place you favor far greater than this.  i hope you are in a place you want to be, that you believe to exist. i hope you did not suffer. i hope you felt no pain. i hope you blinked and opened your eyes to a place where you have forgotten me. i desire no existence of your being to see the pain we feel. that you carry a confidence in you that stems from all of us here loving you. but i hope to you, we don’t exist; you should have nothing to look back upon and be broken over.

it is morbid to even type, but i wonder where you physically are. i want to see your body. i don’t believe this. i want to be with you so that you are not cold and alone. i am embarrassed to even put these thoughts on paper, but know i must not be alone.

i need proof you are gone. i need proof to mourn because this is unbearable.

i used to think pain was always relative, but in death, it is not. there is pain and hurt, and then there is grief. i want answers to all these questions because it becomes very black and white, with names, places, and time. learning to accept you are gone is every shade of gray. you cheated death. so many times, you have done the wrong thing, went too fast, drank too much, made the wrong call. you always, truly lived life on the wild side.

i can’t even cry anymore. i am numb and still somehow hurt for you.

you stopped your tahoe on the middle of the bridge connecting one side of rosebud to the other. we smoked light blue american spirits and drank beer from the bottle. the air was cold, but you kept me warm. we nursed our hangover under the covers and watched youtube videos until we laughed with tears in our eyes. that will forever be my last day with you. you drove me to the airport and we talked about your family and what future you wanted to have. you set my suitcase down, held me in your arms, and kissed me goodbye.

i never should have let you go.