the date reads november 18.
there's 6 days before our anniversary
-i think i've finally gotten it right now.
the air's crisp with that autumnal scent of dried leaves. the coffee’s what keeps me from losing the last of my grip on this cold morning, indifferent to the iciness of our early days i currently heed through.
my forgetfulness had its way of having us spiral down to endless fights-our anniversary was one thing for instance. petty back and forth bickerings resolved with my “i love you's” met with eyerolls failing to cover up the smile that slides it way on your face. heated stares and suffocating silences. “i'm sorry, i'll make it up to you's” soon lost its charm. conflicts hung with one of us walking out. compromises wavered, melted into emotionless pleas to end it all-us saying "**** it" to the rings glinting on our digitus quartus.
the day we've chosen to surrender it all true to life inevitably came, that september 7 five years ago. if i force myself to stop thinking about the specifics, i can brush it off as our homage paid to the same day i was first made known of your existence as you passed by me in the campus grounds, the day we scratched our angst upon a match box-little did we know it would become the same fuel that extinguishes all the embers we've lit aflame. that year winter followed but it simply couldn’t come up with blizzards raging with more cruelty.
autumns ago we gave up on being each other's stressors and stress reliever. we’ve turned out to be the boulder rolling on all the spaces we shared, flattening the dreams, the dayfalls, the vows we’ve exchanged and wherever it was that we’ve only quite reached the middle of;
our midpoint turned out to be our ending.
for so long this wondering nested in the crevices of my hollow. have we done or not done some small thing, done or undone it some other way, would the course of things have ran differently for us?
maybe they’ve been right all along,
and their fingers pointed to our temples were justly served.
maybe they were right and we were just two kids unsuspecting of just how much an involvement of forever would cost us.
such hasty entanglement, infinitely falling unto acts of impulses yet again.
maybe we should’ve saved all that trouble of gown and tux thrifting and cake tasting and tying the knot until the years proved ripe with stability.
you should've said “we should talk about this first.” instead when i got down on one knee five months after we’ve gotten our degrees.
you could have offered a spillage of precarious uncertainty instead of easily giving out that hearty yes, flinging us both on top of the world only to be mercilessly pulled six feet under, forced to breath still.
you would’ve stomped over the shards cut out of the shape of my heart but at least i’d eventually come with an acceptance. we wouldn’t have turned into ten years worth of grief.
i know you’ve always been born for higher things, always been on the lookout for greater pursuits. that’s what made me drawn to you in the first place after all. you were someone who knew where she was headed to despite the fuckedupness of all that surrounded you while i was some beaten down misguided boy who needed that pulling uprooting force of a direction.
maybe you should’ve gone off to medschool and i with working my way for a promotion before we dealt with rent and bills and threading on the line of what it truly meant to be parents.
i’ll always thank the heavens for having the thorns leave that part unharmed, our daughter cradled by peace, swaddled in the softest of petals, later on forging the steps where wildflowers bloom; it was only right we named her after one. celandine.
she’s got your doe eyes, the exact tinge of blue. i can see how much she looks up to you. she told me how she wants to be a doctor when she grows up the last time i picked her up from the place you both live in now. during the drive, she was humming to the chorus of that old nirvana song, you know, that one we repeatedly listened to. i couldn’t help but have my heart swell, nearly tearing up. it felt like a memory the three of us shared like her first nights at that house. her loud cries quieted down as you hummed that alt song into a lullaby. she’s very inquisitive for her age though she’s still yet to ask questions about us or why her parents don’t live or spend time together or why she only gets to see her dad during the weekends. but i think for a five year old she somehow understands.
i can imagine you scoffing, a cigarette dangling from your lips just like the old days where you’d light one whenever you couldn’t help but be annoyed. your belief that regret is stupid and what if’s take you to a drive to nowhere still stands strong. but baby for a long time the what if’s have kept me going, as with all my unhealthy coping mechanisms-when we peeled off the last of the wallpaper, pulled out our clothes from our shared closet, even still when i gunned my old corolla to ignition.
we lost it all.
to our fights. to their i told you so’s. to the vows we’ve memorized since our dates around the college park. to the milestones framed. to autumn and winter and spring and summer.
it's years later and we've managed to unstuck ourselves from the rubble this marriage has become like how adults are expected to deal with everything else this sorry excuse of a life hurls at. but hey, maybe you were right. maybe us separating was necessary to **** off the beasts that tore past the skins of our monsters in unison.
i know you don’t really regret any of it. i know what we’ve birthed from the sadness that trailed down our tailbones patterned from dysfunctional upbringings held out to be intentions pure, offered for a ravaging love. i saw it, felt it the years that led us to the altar and the years witnessed by those housewalls, those fall afternoons the three of us napped in the same room as a family.
there’s 6 days before our anniversary and i’ve finally got it right.
10 years too late.
forgive me for longing, but i think it’s only right that i make do with what was saved from the skeletal framework of bruised years;
the gold ring i’ve strung on a necklace.
the state magnets from our old refrigerator.
the photo album filled with pictures from that white sand beach on our honeymoon.
the pinstriped tie you made me wear on my first day at my third job.
even the way you used to hog the covers and how you’d tend to burn the breakfast eggs.
there’s six days before our anniversary and now, i’ve finally gotten it right.
10 years too late.
“our relics are still yet to meet their grave. but their epitaph would read happy anniversary”.