I Remember That First Goodbye Like It Was Yesterday


I could swear there’s a bundle of scars on my heart as a reminder of every goodbye you and I have ever said – and how I hope, every time we meet, that this would be the time you’d want to stay.

I remember that first goodbye like it was yesterday; cold spring morning, you and I at the corner just up the road from your house after one of the best weekends of my life. We hugged and parted ways. And then you told me that was the dreaded goodbye. You hadn’t even told me. I’d have hugged you a little longer each time, drunk in the image of you, the sound of your laughter and your snores, imprinted every moment of the weekend on my memory. If only I’d known that was the last time.

I remember how I begged you to change your mind, how much I wanted you to stay. I wanted so much for you to love me and even though you laughed it off like it was the most ridiculous thing in the world, something told me that you did. So I begged, one more time each time, hoping that this time, you’d actually want to stay. You did, for a moment; every now and then.

And then, like a band aid, you were ripped away from me – again. And so it has been; a never ending cycle of “now I see you, now I don’t.” And the worst part, I’d do it over and over again.

I remember how I used to see you everywhere. You haunted my dreams and my reality. It was a small town. I hoped to bump into you somewhere, hoped that maybe then you’d remember how great we were together and come back or call back or both. Days turned into weeks which turned into months. I slowly got used to walking the streets you and I used to walk down together; laughing, playing, itching to get home and rip each other’s clothes off. Over time, you moved into a little drawer in my brain that I never opened. You were gone and never coming back. I made my peace with that.

And then I heard your name in a conversation. I knew where you were. I could come see you if I wanted to. I told myself I just needed to see you again, just once. I was sure I didn’t love you anymore. After all, why would I love someone who had turned his back on me the way you had? And then I saw you. And my heart skipped a beat. And we were right back to where we began.

It didn’t make sense. We were perfect and then we were not. And I had no idea why. And so I pried and prodded until I got some answers.

I finally understood why you left. You were married. We were an affair. You broke the rules. You fell in love with the mistress. Only the mistress didn’t know she was a mistress.

And so she demanded things you couldn’t give. It all got too complicated. And so you ran. Coward!

My gorgeous coward. I could make every excuse in the book for you. And I wish you had trusted me with your truth. Sometimes I wonder if it would have changed anything. Would I still have loved you? Would I have given myself to you the way I did, guilt-free? Sometimes I really think we wouldn’t have happened if I had known. And in those moments, I’m grateful to you for giving us a chance. But other times, I think what good is a chance at loving a man so wonderful when he could never be mine? And in those moments, I get a little bit mad. Because I earned your love, but you stole mine.

But after all has been said and done, I still love you as if I didn’t know.