I meet someone and he makes me smile but he doesn’t make me laugh, not the way you used to, when the laugh would burble up from my toes and break across me like spun candy glass.
I meet someone else and they almost get it, the joke that plays around my lips but then I notice, they don’t, not really, and they don’t catch my eye to smirk and maybe chuckle a little.
Their hand down my back catches the soft spot at the bottom of my neck, but forgets that little place behind my ears.
Goddammit, they aren’t you. But, neither are you, anymore. And I just don’t know how to grieve a ghost that was, but isn’t.
My SIL, or ex-SIL or whatever the hell I call her now was married today. I’ve never met the man, but in their pictures they look delirious with each other, blessed with that commonality that is love, stars in the eyes, a future paved before them. I envy them this, I envy her this thing I could never quite have with her brother-a future, a tomorrow. There were never plans, and that I’ve come to realize, is what I truly wanted. Goals, dreams, a blueprint for a future together. I may miss the 20 year old who could make me smile, or the 25 year old who clung so tightly to his daughter, but we never had this momentum, content somehow to just mosey along like a summer day in a canoe.
Until we weren’t. Until we both got itchy for something different, for a tomorrow we wouldn’t see together.
I want to stop wishing it was different. I want to stop wishing I could go back and change who I was, who we were. I need the answers to stop appearing now, all the ways I could have changed, all the things we could have stopped 10 years ago, 5, 2 even.
It’s over, and I don’t see that changing, no matter what happens. Time, combed over like ashes on a dying fire, can’t be brought back.
Somedays the sweetness of my memories sustains me, remembering that once we were golden, and did indeed love each other fiercely. Other times, like tonight, when all I can do is remember his voice in my ear, or his arms around me as I drifted off to sleep, I want to erase it all.
It would be less like slivers in my heart.