Things You Don’t Forget


Where you met and where you went on your first date, and how excited you were in the hours before your first date, and how nervous you were during your first date, and how badly you wanted a second date, even before the first date ended.

Why you decided to save I love you, and how nervous you were that you would not hear I love you in return, and what you were listening to, and maybe even the day your I love yous were first exchanged.

Anniversaries, birthdays and the names of parents and friends. The people you liked, and the people you didn’t like, and the people you tolerated because you had to tolerate them.

Favorite bands and favorite books and the places you shared — the restaurant you always went to, and the route you took to his or her house, and how you stayed the night on Tuesdays and Thursdays, sometimes Sundays.

You won’t remember how he or she drank coffee or tea, until you hear someone order coffee or tea the same way and you will remember how he or she drank coffee or tea ,and you may even remember how it irritated you that three equals and a dash of cream was needed every time, and how you once had to go to two different coffee shops because the dark roast was out at the first place you went.

Makes and models of cars will be forgotten, and the numbers of miles you shared in these cars will be forgotten, but you may not forget how he or she never offered to pay for gas, and how it started to drive you crazy.

You may save love notes and gifts, and you may not think about these love notes and gifts until you come across one, and then you’ll think, oh, I wonder how [Name] is doing, and then you might think, I hope [Name] is miserable. And thinking thoughts like these is still a way of not forgetting why he or she deserves to be miserable, because, most often, he or she deserves to be miserable.

Maybe where you thought you and him/ her were going to get married and the vows you’d make — the silly vows and the not-so-silly vows — and maybe the places where you planned to honeymoon and the places where you planned to go once you could afford to go to these places.

You won’t forget how much you loved, because love is not something easily forgotten. You won’t forget how hurt you felt, or how betrayed, or how alone. You won’t forget your promise to not feel hurt and betrayed and alone again. You won’t forget goodbye.

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image – Josiah Mackenzie