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If You’re Reading This, I Miss You

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when you think about how much you still miss them Pete Bellis

I was driving today and listening to that one Arctic Monkeys song you said made you think of me. The first time you told me it did I didn’t want to tell you that it made me think of you too. That it was one of many on a playlist I sometimes put on repeat when I missed you or during periods we went without speaking. The words maybe I’m too busy being yours to fall for somebody new hit me right in my Achilles heel.

They’re all too true, at least for me. They’ve always been. They’re real now. They’re real when I’ve been in relationships, when I’ve opened up some of myself to someone else, when I’ve had feelings for someone else. I never really completely let the veil slip with them. Always held something back. In reality, there was a part of my heart I never placed in their hands, a part I kept to myself, and a part I would never let anyone grab because it had your name inscribed on it.

We’ve never been together.

But for a good part of the 13 years I’ve known you they’ve held truth.

You’ve always had this pull on me. A part of me has always felt yours, and that’s a word I hate to use.

Even now, after blocking your number and walking away from the endless dance we’ve always been in, they still hold some truth.

Oh, the power of a song (and it’s just one of many.) All day I thought about the countless other things I always wanted to tell you but never could. I know it would be pointless. But I can’t stop myself from thinking them, from feeling them, from wanting to curse them out each window in every room I find myself in. I may break promises I make to myself about not writing about you anymore, but I can’t break the oath I took when I promised myself to end whatever it is we’ve always been. I’ll never speak to you again, and maybe my words will never reach you, but in case you’re still stalking my poetry page, looking up articles of mine on the internet, in case you’re reading this – but really just for my sanity I have to write this.

I loved you for a long time before I ever said it. I think maybe the first time I ever heard your laugh and saw your crooked smile in that math class something in my adolescent brain told me I was doomed. I loved you through the periods we went without speaking. I know it because somehow my mind always swam back to you. You’ve always been there. Treading the shallow waters of my consciousness. Never straying too far from land. I know I loved you because I’d write and somehow you were usually the muse. I loved you through all of my relationships.

Here’s a confession: if you had asked me to I probably would have left them.

A part of me hates you for this because you would have never done the same. And I would have burned a thousand cities to the ground for a chance for our love to be something we could say out loud. A part of me wants to slap you because during the time the stars aligned to be on our side you didn’t step up. A part of me hates you because after the first time you told me you loved me and how much you dreamed about being with me, you ruined it by telling me how you couldn’t hurt her. But for 13 years you repeatedly hurt me. I hate you for making me write about parallel universes and worlds that don’t exist, for talking about a fate you said you believed in – a fate you were never willing to fight for. I hate you for making me do things I never would have with anyone else. For all the lying I helped you do, for all the cheating I helped you do, and for the times I did it myself. I hate you for sometimes making me feel like nothing but a dirty secret. I hate you for dousing me in gasoline and throwing the match in but never sticking around to watch me burn and bleed. I hate you for showing me what it feels like to be inside of the sun when I’ve spent my whole life evolving in darkness. I hate you because I’m afraid I won’t ever find passion like the one that we knew.

I hate you because no one has yet to make me feel the things you did when you touched me.

I hate you because it took me years to realize that I never really existed in your world. That I was always just a secret. That love is never enough. That you could have spit out the most beautiful words, but it didn’t mean they were true. That maybe each time you told me you loved me it made your teeth rot from the lie. That we weren’t ever going anywhere. That there was no reason to having you in my life other than my addiction to ruin and affinity to heartache.

I hate you for leaving me with all the memories. Most of them start the same: me walking into your apartment, not even five seconds passing before we could feel the tension in the air, before you had me pinned up against the wall with a fistful of my hair in your hand. Then there are the ones of us on your living room floor talking about worlds in which we end up together, your thumb caressing the side of my face. In a lot of them it’s us always wine-drunk, palm-to-palm on your couch. There’s so few, yet so many.

Then there are ones when I should’ve used my brain before it was too late. Like that time we were smoking a spliff drinking Red Stripes on the porch the first time I realized that friends too can make you burn. I remember thinking I’m screwed and it wasn’t just because I finally knew what it was like to be a woman in the wake of a man who knew how to fuck, but because you felt like it must feel inside of the sun (and yeah, I wrote a poem about that one.)

I hate you because here I am writing about you once again.

I hate you because I can’t and never will, because I love you and I think a part of me always will.

If you’re reading this, I miss you. I’ll miss more than the chemistry between us. I’ll miss the friend in you that I had. There’s been so many times I’ve wanted to text, to call, when I’ve had bad days, when great things have come my way, when a guy hurt my feelings, when I went on a bad date; there’s been so many times I’ve needed your advice. I think that’s the part I’ll miss the most.

I want you to know I always knew that there would come a point where I wouldn’t have you in my life anymore. It hurts. I’m not ashamed to admit how much. But I’m hoping there will come a tomorrow where I miss you a little less, where I think about you a little less. I’m hoping there will come a day where I kiss someone and don’t think about the way I’d sink my teeth into your bottom lip and the way you did the same. I’m hoping there comes a day I go on a date and you don’t cross my brain. I’m hoping that the next time I allow myself to get close to someone that I don’t hold any of myself back. I hope the next time I place my heart in the hands of someone it will include that small part that used to have your name – that your name will no longer be on it.

I miss you but I want you to know I’m working on not being too busy being yours. TC mark

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