The sunrise on our first morning living together

We told ourselves we wouldn’t care if the world ended. We said we wouldn’t care because we’d be spending our last moments with each other. And it was late, it was so late, but we couldn’t go to sleep yet, we had to be up for the sunrise. We promised ourselves we’d stay up and watch the sunrise together on our first night of living together. And we realized it was a silly idea, but we both took a week off work to get settled in our new apartment- which might’ve also been a silly idea, but we didn’t care.

We stayed up for the sunrise and we fell asleep right before it happened out our back window. We fell asleep on the couch around 5 am and didn’t wake until noon. We laughed about it when we woke up and realized we missed the sunrise. But we didn’t care. Our favorite show was paused on the living room TV while we got up and made breakfast.

You made a joke about missing the sunrise and I said it was a silly idea to begin with. I hadn’t been up that late since college, and you hadn’t since you started your first real job. You made pancakes and I made coffee. It wasn’t anything huge, but I felt closer to you than I ever had that morning. You resumed our favorite show and we spent the day unpacking while it played in the background. We were finally where we were meant to be.

5 am

It’s 5 am

the rain is pouring

coming down heavy

enveloping my sadness

as I lay here

unable to sleep

and I wonder

I wonder what you’re doing

I know you were always

one to be up at this hour.

And I feel closer to you

than I ever did when we

were together.

Maybe it’s better this way

maybe I’m happier like this:

love,

but from a distance.

You can’t hurt me from here.

almost sunset

When the sun is about to set

and your face is illuminated

with an orange-yellow glow

and the world around us is, too

and the grass is green,

the flowers are blooming,

the smell of spring is in the air;

we have made it through winter.

relax

The window open,

a newly cleaned room,

a cup of tea

cooling on the windowsill.

With nothing left to do today,

I relax and enjoy

the smell of nature,

the sunshine peeking in,

my cup of tea,

and a good book.

implications

And I don’t think I knew what love was

when I said I loved you

and I don’t think I meant it when I said it,

but I said it anyway

and you said it back

and at the time I didn’t know the implications

that we would matter

that we would be closer

that we would care about each other

and I never felt any of that

but I wanted to

I wanted to feel love

I wanted to know what it meant

to have someone you care about

but you can’t force that kind of love,

it comes on its own

and I want to believe it’s worth the wait

“foolish,” you’ll say, and I’ll agree

And someday we’ll find ourselves in different places, in different homes, with different lovers and we’ll decide to reconnect. Maybe we’ll see each other on the street, or someone will mention something that reminds us of each other, and we’ll reach out and we’ll reconnect.

You’ll tell me about how you’re happier now than you ever thought you could be. I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to and you’ll listen. We’ll make jokes and remember what it was like when we were once so close. We’ll wonder why we ever drifted apart, conveniently forgetting what happened between us that day when we thought the world would end. And I remembered it for a while, and I cried for a while, but I got over it, and I got over you.

But it wasn’t like I didn’t think about you, and it wasn’t like I didn’t look for you when I went by your old house. You told me you moved two years ago. I’ll say, “has it really been that long?” and you’ll say, “it’s been six years, man.” And I’ll feel sad. And you’ll feel sad. And we’ll agree to stay in touch, but I’ll tell you I’m only in town this week then I’m going back to the city, and you’ll look at me like you’re proud, and I’ll feel like crying.

And in that moment, I won’t be able to even think about what broke us apart. I remembered us staying friends for a long time. And we were there for each other through everything. And somewhere along the way, we separated.

We’ll be reminiscing about our conversations and I’ll be surprised by how many details I remembered, and then I’ll remember that we stopped talking because of something so stupid and so trivial that I laugh out loud in the coffee shop. And you’ll ask me what I’m laughing for and I’ll tell you. And you’ll look at me, chuckle once, and shake your head.

“Foolish,” you’ll say, and I’ll agree.

and I thought it was funny

and I thought it was funny at the time

the way you tore down everything I built

and I remember I laughed

when I caught you in yet another lie

and I remember thinking

I’d be better with you in my life

well

then why am I thriving now?

I just want to learn

I just want to learn

I want to learn about you.

I want to learn what makes you happy

what makes you sad

what makes you unreasonably angry

what makes you laugh uncontrollably

and I want to learn

about your favorite song

and what makes it so special

and I want to learn

what age you were

when you realized

you felt sad most of the time

and what age you were

when you realized

you weren’t sad like you once were

and I want to learn

what makes you so special

because you are so special

the world’s most nostalgic person

And I didn’t know how I wanted it to go until that day. It wasn’t like I was unhappy, but I certainly wasn’t happy. And sure, sometimes I was content. But it wasn’t enough. I fall into this trap of settling so often, you’d think I’m not still young. I get petrified of any negative feeling; I ignore the ones I’m already feeling. And it’s ironic, and I get that, but sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s wrong until it’s over. And this happened a year ago. I’m only thinking about it because I’m the world’s most nostalgic person.

I miss things. And I miss people. It’s the reason I annoy my friends with all the mentions of exes. I get accused of not being over them, but it’s not true. I don’t miss the people; I miss the feelings. And sometimes I miss the people, but it’s not usually for long. I miss ex friends more than I miss ex boyfriends. And even them I know I’m better off without.

And on the day when that two-year, arguably worst relationship of my life ended, I remember I went to the gym. I know we shouldn’t have broken up over the phone, but he lived an hour away and we both knew it was coming anyway. I went to the gym and I listened to a break-up album that had conveniently just come out that day. I became fixated by it. I wound up going to the gym a lot in those coming months. And I was fine. I was happy. I didn’t miss him in the slightest.

But I realized, after two years of constantly being lied to and treated like yesterdays garbage, that I was happy to be single. And I’ve been happy being single for the better part of the last year. I think when that nightmare of a relationship started, what I needed was a friend. And I realize now that all I really want are friends. I don’t feel like I need a boyfriend or girlfriend to be happy. I’m just happy hanging out with my friends and watching a show and maybe having a drink. And that’s fine.

And now Valentine’s Day is coming up and I never much did celebrate that even when I was in relationships. So, I’m not too worried. I’ll probably end up watching some rom-coms at home and I’m content with that.