When I think about never speaking to him again, I picture a girl walking in a crowd that’s all moving in the same direction, and then suddenly she drops everything she’s holding and turns around and starts running as fast as she can, smiling and pushing past everyone till finally she reaches an open space and her face looks like sunshine as her hair blows behind her in the wind and she’s free she’s free, oh God, she’s free.
But then I think about walking into a doctor’s office ten years from now and sitting on a cold metal table, staring at my legs dangling off the edge, waiting. And then I look up as the door opens slowly, not expecting to see his tattooed arms hidden in a lab coat, but there he is and, oh God, his eyes haven’t changed, and I can’t breathe, and he just stands there, looking at me like an unfinished sentence. Then I’d have to let him put a stethoscope to my chest and listen to my heart and I wonder what it’d sound like, if it would sound like messy half beats of missing him. If he’d be able to tell. If he’d care.
Or maybe the next time I see him, if I ever see him again, we’ll both be whole versions of ourselves, content and in good places, our lives all sorted out and how we always hoped they’d be. And maybe we’d be able to talk about the weather and our kids and the lives we created apart. And maybe I’d be able to look at him with only feelings of pleasant acquaintance and relative indifference, not seeing the boy I fell for when I should’ve been focused on catching myself.
And I know I should find comfort in thinking about how one day I may look at him and feel nothing,
but it’s four in the morning and I don’t want to let go.