Nostalgia is a funny thing. I can go weeks, months, without the thought of you crossing my mind until, quite suddenly, it crashes down around me. Awareness and regret. I’m young again, stupid and careless, and you’re there, always there, always looking out for me. The best friend I didn’t realise I had until you were gone.
And I marvel sometimes at how I can miss you, so many years later, as if I’m missing the possibility of what could have been, what should have been, had I stayed. Sometimes I even wonder, in those rare moments when the lack of your presence is almost tangible, whether there’s a part of me that’s remained untouched since your removal from my life. A part that will always remain untouched. Maybe every broken line I ever wrote, every lie I ever told, maybe it was all for you.
It’s a cliché to say you never appreciate what you have until it’s gone but that’s what you do. You drive me to clichés. It’s the only way I can make sense of any of it. We were young, too young, and surely it shouldn’t hold sway, can’t hold sway. Irrational and meaningless. But somehow you burrowed your way into my emotions and no amount of arguing with myself can evict you. I think you’ll be there for the rest of my life.
It’s selfishness, really, that drives me. I just want to know if you think of me. If you ever remember the times we spent together. Does the thought bring that lopsided smile to your face? Do you remember the colour of my eyes, the sound of my name, the way you could always be yourself around me? Do you remember how you’d stick by me even when I was being impossible, how you’d always forgive me when I picked a fight? Do you even remember my face?
But I’m smarter than that. I know that no one ever remembers the ones who leave. That knowledge – the thought that you never knew, will never know, can’t possibly care – is harder to bear than the memory of you, the memory that breaks me open and defies my better judgement. If I had been better adjusted, if I had been less insecure, if my life had taken a different path, if we had been given more time…I would have been your refuge, you would have been my all.
Music: Blinding - Florence + The Machine