This Is What I Really Mean When I Say ‘Hey’


The last time we saw each other, I couldn’t stand to look at you. Every time I tried, it felt like falling over the edge of a mile-high skyscraper, straight into a life I wasn’t sure I could live. You weren’t looking at me either. You just sat there, silent, because you knew it as much as I did. Nothing was going to save us.

There was no shouting and crying, just the letter. I took it from my pocket the way that anxious people do, forcing every motion and pretending like I didn’t want to drop it, reach out, and hold you again. That was how we were not so long ago, on a night just like this one. You told me you loved me, and I’d like to think that you meant it.

I told you, that if you could read the letter one last time, and still be sure, then I would be okay. You did, and I wasn’t. I tore it apart in front of you slowly, with just a touch of showmanship. You hurt me. You hurt me, and I had to be okay with that.

Before you left, you asked me for one last kiss. Only then did I look you in the eye, and as much as I wanted to kiss you and taste you one last time, I knew that I couldn’t keep doing this to myself. I allowed a million possible replies and impulses to coarse through me before I found the conviction to softly reply:

“That’s not how this works.”

I’ve learned that a year doesn’t seem so long when you spend it missing someone else. I wonder if the opposite is true when you’ve forgotten them. Remind me to ask you the next time we see each other. I guess only someone like you could ever know.