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Let me tell you how I did it. Let me tell you how I got your ghosts out of my system.

I stopped thinking about you late at night when I was alone wishing you were there so I could talk to you. I started talking to my best friends. I started reading. I start- ed writing. Because I realized they’ve all been there for me in all the ways you weren’t and they’re still here with me but you’re gone.

I stopped staring at my phone when something good happens hoping you would say something and I stopped staring at it when something bad happens tempted to call you and tell you about it because you never wanted to celebrate with me and you never wanted to give me a shoulder to cry on when my tears wouldn’t stop falling.

I remembered that I couldn’t count on you to make me smile when you’re the ones who made me cry.

I stopped comparing anyone I met to you. I stopped believing in the same spark that burned me—the flames that turned to ashes.

I’m done living in this illusion I’ve created with you and I’m ready to face my new reality without you.
And finally, I stopped thinking that you’ll come back one day. I stopped wanting you to fight for me because the truth is, I don’t want a fight—love shouldn’t be about fighting and it shouldn’t be a war. It shouldn’t be a battle of who cares more and who’s going to fall harder. It shouldn’t be about winning and losing.

And if it is, then I don’t want it. Maybe I’m just a dreamer but I believe that love should be easy, it should be simple and clear. It shouldn’t be all questions and games and it shouldn’t leave you wondering or waiting.

And maybe I’m just a dreamer but I believe that love should be magic and it should leave you in awe.
This is me moving on. This is me accepting the ache of missing you. This is me waking up every single day, aware of what is missing, but accepting of the fact that this is my life now, that this is the way things are going to be. This is me understanding that it is okay to have my heartbeat speak your name. This is me understanding that it is okay to miss someone who was once such a staple in my life. But this is also me understanding that life does go on. That one day I will hear the songs and smile, I will sleep in my sheets and they will no longer smell like you; one day I will fall in love again, one day I will look back on this and my hands will not shake with the heaviness of it all.
This is me moving on. This is me accepting the fact that we will no longer make memories together. This is me coming to terms with the reality of a future without you. This is me understanding that you will do everything we had ever spoken about — you will live a life you are proud of, you will become the person you told me you hoped you could be, you will take the trips, you will experience all of the things you wanted to experience, you will love — deeply, and wholly and with every inch of your patchwork heart, but all of that will happen without me by your side.
This is me moving on. This is me accepting that sometimes beautiful things end. This is me understanding that there is nothing I can say, or do, to fix that. This is me coming to terms with the fact that sometimes leaving is an act of love, too. That sometimes you have to walk away from something soft and hauntingly real, that sometimes hearts don’t align. But this is me accepting that endings don’t have to be messy. This is me understanding how incredible it really is — that for a moment in time, in a world of billions, two strangers were in the right place, at the right time, and something transpired between them. This is my heart swelling with the thought — that at one point in time, we were the lucky ones. At one point in time, we beat the odds.
When it ends, the little things will haunt you most.
The text you don’t get in the morning.
The notification you no longer see.
The snaps that aren’t from them.
Not knowing about their day.
Or anything in their life at all.
It’s being unfriended.
It’s the left you used to take, driving to see them. It pains you to go the other way.
It’s the loneliness that haunts you, as you wonder — do they miss me too?
It’s tossing and turning late at night.
It’s just not being hungry.
It’s the empty feeling without them.
It’s the pain in someone asking how they are.
And you have to tell them you’re not together.
It’s laying there at night wondering who is holding them.
It’s the dreams that turn into nightmares.
Like they are everywhere and there is no way to escape them.
It’s running into them and just not knowing what to do.
It’s looking at them as if they were a stranger.
But you know every one of their secrets.
You know how they like to be kissed.
You know how they like to be held.
You know exactly what to say to calm them down.
Here you are with an abundance of information.
You don’t know what to do with.
Then you try and move on.
But in everyone you look at, you search for them.
As if finding them would lead you to find yourself again.
Because when they left they took all of you with them.
Everyone falls short.
Everyone leaves you a little more empty.
Because when they one person who can make you feel better.
Is the one who has made you fall apart.
How do you even save yourself?
How do you find yourself again?
After being away from you so long, just standing in the same room as you feels like there is electricity binding us together, sparks flying as we pretend we haven’t seen the other. Tell me, in the moments when I drag my eyes away from you, do you look at me like you used to?!
Don’t think for a second that it didn’t hurt me to leave you,”
she urges.
“Because it was the most painful thing that I’ve ever had to do. It was so, so difficult. It took every bit of strength that I had not to turn around and apologize.”

She takes a deep breath.

“So don’t tell yourself that I wanted to. I didn’t, not at all. But leaving you was the only way I could save myself.
I tried so hard.
I tried to be pretty and funny and spontaneous. I tried to be better for you.

I know you’re not supposed to change yourself for someone, but I honestly feel like you were bringing out the best in me.

You didn’t make me change myself. I chose to. So it hurts that I still wasn’t good enough for you.

You didn’t try very hard. You didn’t have to.

I was head over heels for you, and you knew it. You abused it.

Now you’re gone, and I can’t even recognize myself.
It’s just a word, but we give it so much power. It isn’t thrown around lightly.

It is also a feeling. It can somehow tear us apart from the inside out, or it can put us back together.

We need it in our lives and in our hearts. It makes us human.

But lately, I haven’t seen much of it.

This world needs more love. Throw it around like your life depends on it.

In a way, it does.
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