I woke up yesterday from a dream that we were lying in bed together on some lazy Sunday morning. You were talking to your mom on the phone and pretending you were alone while I buried my face in your shoulder and dozed off. I could almost smell your skin and feel the warmth of your naked body against mine until I woke up and you weren’t there beside me. Your absence from my bed served as a painful and palpable reminder that you are gone.
I know we’re not talking right now, but it’s late on the day that I start my new life and I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep because I’m going to be doing it all alone. In a few hours, I’ll wake up, shower, make coffee, and go to my new job knowing that when I get home I won’t be opening a bottle of wine and telling you how it went. Instead, I’ll be eating cereal by myself while feeling the full weight of the reality that the only person I want to tell about my day is the only person I can’t talk to.
I’ve been a total train wreck in the wake of our demise. An ACTUAL catastrophe of self-loathing and loneliness that I wasn’t even aware I was capable of feeling until I was sitting in my car outside your apartment crying so hard that I couldn’t breathe. The night we broke up, I immediately took off the ring you gave me, folded and stacked all of your clothes that I have accumulated, and rearranged everything in my room that reminds me that you exist. Consequently, my room is now littered with piles of miscellaneous items constantly reminding me that even though you’re gone, you’re never going to be too far from my mind. I confess that sometimes I still take your sweatshirt out of the pile and lie on my bed breathing in your scent and stop pretending to be okay.
In the weeks that you’ve been gone, I’ve started the process of organizing my life without you in it. Awkwardly filling the gaps you once occupied with new activities, old acquaintances, crappy movies, and more ice cream than I’d care to admit. Despite all of my efforts to charge ahead and leave you behind, I keep thinking that with enough time you’ll change your mind. That you’ll realize you made a mistake. That you want me back. That you want to be “us” again. That you still love me. I keep thinking you’ll change your mind and once again see me as the person standing next to you on your wedding day. As the person sitting on the couch with you after we put our kids to sleep. I keep thinking that you’ll simply change your mind and come back to me.
But I don’t want you to change your mind, I want you to make up your mind. I want you to make up your mind that it is me. That I wasn’t wrong to love you so deeply and believe you when you said you wanted to spend your life with me. I want you to make up your mind that while, yes, there are tens or hundreds or thousands of women that you could be with who might be fun/exciting/good in bed that I am the only one you truly love. I want you to make up your mind that the person who makes you happiest and makes your life feel worth living is me.
But I don’t know when or if that will happen and that’s the most painful part of all of this. The possibility that the love of your life may just simply not be me.
Either way, I’m going to start my new job tomorrow and I’m nervous. You’re the one person who knows how to calm me down and tomorrow I’ll be leaving my apartment without you telling me that I can do it, that I’m going to be great, that I shouldn’t be scared, and that you can’t wait to hear all about it tonight. I’ll go through each and every day putting one foot in front of the other while working hard to convince everyone that I am fine knowing that you’re somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else. I will put you out of my mind and simply carry on. Until I see your favorite candy at the grocery store. Until my phone vibrates. Until that song comes on. Until I have to go to sleep. Until I fall apart and have to start all over again…without you.