Then, I would never have believed that ten years after we
split I would still think of him. The scientist in me is
always surprised to rediscover this fact: That a person can
truly be broken. Forever. There is no “It was for the best”
here; no hard earned wisdom that I am glad I came by. Our
split was simply a complete and utter destruction of my
person. Life can be that way. Eventually you have to move
on; Life, again, compels you. And, after all, I wanted to be
happy again. So, you pick up what’s left, reinvent what
isn’t and go on.
I think the specter of our breakup has changed me far more
relationship. Away from the warm glow of naivete, the
memories of us seem trite. It is true that only we assign
meaning to our experiences. On paper they mean nothing. We
went camping with my family. I snuck clandestine visits to
his house after school. He biked out to my house in the
middle of the night. We hung out with his friends. He got
the chicken pox. We made out in the hallways at school and
passed notes. We drove - a lot, we drank some, we smoked pot
once. And of course we had sex, my first. We were in going
to be married, you see.
Mostly, we had no fear. We talked about ourselves, our
childhoods, our parents. Each discussion was a wonderful
opening, with no fear of what we might discover or lose.
Every fact, every feeling shared was a precious thing to be
cherished and savored. Our universe did not understand the
possibility of loss.
Eventually, there was another. There always is in these
stories. She took him away with a kiss. To explain the
complete and utter vacancy of the following months would be
difficult. At least there were tangible side effects: the
loss of 25 pounds, the withdrawal, the tears, and tears, and
tears. To this day I have not replenished them. Only after I
rebuilt myself did he want me back. But the me had that had
been was lost.
It is more than ten years later. The person he missed hasn’t
returned. I don’t think she will. I look for her sometimes,
in boxes of old things, but she is never there. The beach is
my place now. It is small consolation for a lost self. I
know now that our relationship was far from perfect. I know
what he has done with his life, and what I have done with
mine, and logically, I understand them to be incompatible.
What I really miss is the me that didn’t consider such
I see him in dreams sometimes. We approach, we talk; we are
lovers. In my dreams we travel asymptotic paths; never
crossing, almost touching, our current lives the tiny
infinite gap between us. I like my life now. It makes me
happy. But above all, I can never forgive him. It’s not that
he was perfect. It’s not that we were perfect. It’s simply
that he was my Everything, and he chose to leave.