It’s been a year – a year of increasing distances, lessening pain, and fading memories. I haven’t gone to the house since the last time I saw you. For the most part, it was you who kept me away. I know that’s a terrible thing to say, but I wish I’d said it before. The house is empty now, and I’m afraid it can’t be filled up again, no matter how many people crowd into it. And so I let the distance grow; didn’t make an effort to come down and see the familiar places and faces – all but one. I couldn’t stand thinking about that “but one,” still can’t.
But here we are, a year later. And still the memory of your tired, worn face is as clear as it was just moments after you went away. No matter how many times I try to replace that face with one where you are smiling your mischievous smile, it just does not work. And I am transported, once more, to the day I saw you for the last time, and realized that there are so many things always left unsaid. So many wishes not granted. So many thoughts that never got put into action…all transforming themselves into a cluster of deep, pointless regrets.
Someone’s role in your life never seems to be more about those insignificant details until you know for sure that those details are not going to be added to. And then, holding on to those same details feel like holding on to a fistful of sand: that always find a way out from between your clenched fingers. And now I’m trying to find that elusive comfort of good memories to wrap around myself, a shield that will protect me when I next meet the one person who felt your abandonment the most, who is stoically waiting now. For time.
In the meantime, so many things have happened. I wonder how many times you wondered about time flying too fast for you to be able to keep up. There’s things I would’ve wanted you to be part of this past year, things I would’ve told you just to get your opinion on it, and things that would have made you laugh and playfully hit me or scold me. There’s also things I wouldn’t have told you in words but would have discussed with you at length in my mind, knowing that if you knew, you would soothe my worries and anxiety, and take them on yourself.
It’s been a year, and not all of the pain has gone. And though I’ve never told you this before, I miss you.