The Life We Never Lived


Did you know that because of you there are places I can’t go, music I can’t listen to, people I can’t know?

The memories of us are dusty now and every so often, I enter the dimly lit past to clean them off. They are as they always were: stories told in hushed voices, soft touches almost unfelt. I worry I might lose them. Sometimes I pray I will.

I kiss him and try to believe it. Try to convince myself I love him more. That the life I created with him is better than the one you and I never had. That his mouth is better than the fantasy of yours.

But fantasy is potent. And he can’t compete with that. With a figment. With possibility. With what could have been. A man he can compete with, but you…

You are a ghost I have created. The way you are, you have no faults. Your memory is perfectly incomplete. All romance and no reality. All what ifs and no what was. You can do no wrong because you haven’t. You can’t fail. You aren’t real. I fell in love with what you could have been. I miss what we didn’t become.

Still, I can’t help but think about the life we aren’t living. The unfulfilled love hangs stagnant in the sleepy hallways of my mind. It breathes heavy. It casts shadows upon today. Uninvited, it demands its due. Unwanted, yet so desperately needed as well.

I don’t know how to live with both you and him, and so I kiss him harder. I kiss him harder and I pray. That I’ll never again think about the length of your neck. That I won’t wonder what you’re doing. That I won’t ask myself if you ever think about me too. That one day your smell will just be another stranger on the subway. That one day I’ll know it wasn’t right and it isn’t real and what we never had will never be what I really have with him. And just like that the fantasy will fade. And just like that you will too.

And so I pray. I pray to forget you.

And then I pray I won’t.

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image – plaits