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.
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
Maybe it’s better this way
maybe I’m happier like this:
but from a distance.
You can’t hurt me from here.
And I didn’t think I cared as deeply as I did
but when you left and I was alone
I would give you
if given the chance.
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.
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.
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
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 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
then why am I thriving now?
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
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.