Today is Valentine's Day, and in the place of the bitter, envy-fueled grief I felt before, I feel contemplative.
Thoughtful, flirting with the musings of my own emotions the way one traces a days-old bruise - gently, hesitantly skirting the boundaries of the injury, heart racing in anticipation of the pain that signals there's more work to be done, more rebuilding.
I'm noticing how all of my letters to you turn to odes to pain.
Maybe it's safer that way. Me rehearsing the scenes of sadness so I don't think about how just before a call my hands shake and my breath is shallow, like those moments before the coaster drops.
And then I hear your voice. And I choke out my response. And you laugh at me, a low/quiet/breathy sound, because you think I'm funny, and professional. And I wrap the sound around my shoulders and breathe deeply, selfishly, that for forty minutes and thirty two seconds it was mostly mine.
Sometimes I'm mean because I want you to remember. Mike said, "The worst thing we can do to someone is forget them", and I think he's right. I think I hurt you because I want you to feel the pain of not choosing me. Like maybe it'll make you see; like maybe you'll understand.
But you won't.
And I'm sorry.
Lately, I've taken to imagining graduation, anticipating when we say our goodbyes and go our separate ways. Sometimes, I wish I could accelerate to that moment; as though it'll define what these 9 months of confusion and joy and pain and absence all will have been.
It won't, but I'll forget that then.
And I won't say the things I want to say. And you'll never say the things I need to hear. And time will bury this farther and farther out of our reach, but I'll always keep your low laugh near.