He keeps popping up.
I should have been prepared for this. Steeled. Resolved. Ready.
These coffee dates inevitably ask the same question. “So, did you meet anyone in Colorado?” How do I tell the truth without rehashing the painful year of memories? Again, another consequence of my friendationship. I don’t have a clear cut answer. I can’t say, yes, I dated a boy I wanted to marry. But I also can’t say no, I didn’t meet anyone in Colorado.
Because I met someone. Even though he ended up not being my forever someone, he was someone. And I’m not entirely sure how to tell the story of us. Or the me and him because could I even call us an us? The failings of messy lines and blurred boundaries.
So I pick certain pieces to tell different people occasionally allowing some of the pain to leak out. I don’t miss him. I don’t want him. I miss it. I miss having a him in my life. I miss 3am conversations and surprise Starbucks treats. But again, I don’t miss him. I guess I miss the idea of him. Who I hoped he would be in my life.
The loneliness of being alone is sometimes overwhelming. It’s not necessarily a need for completion or this insane striving for someone to make it better. It’s a loneliness of a solo journey. It’s the loneliness of not sharing the load, of not having someone to rejoice or weep over my circumstances. Papa is enough. He always is enough. Of that I’m certain.
But sometimes, in the middle of the night, or the quiet of the day, I bump into my familiar companion of singularity. The me and not we. And I know on a scale of terrible things, this is so very small. But it feels so very big at times. It threatens to swallow me whole.
The ache for my best friend. The ache for a future together. The ache for that look and a hand to reach for mine when we walk down the street. The ache for laughter and tears. The ache of an empty bed and empty arms.
It’s an ache I’ve never quite known how to silence. It stopped screaming and started whispering. Quieter and quieter with each passing year, although growing in intensity. Funny how that works huh? The most painful things can often make us the quietest. Almost like if we utter a noise, it will all come tumbling out and we’ll fall apart.
If I let let one tear fall, I’m afraid they’ll never stop.