Something I Never Thought I'd Need to Do
Updated: Jan 10
"Something I Never Thought I'd Need to Do"
You never learned loss.
At your young age of 15 and then 17, you hadn’t seen stores go out of business or surrounding natural scenery change its shape. Restaurants, gas stations, schools, and even people were always constants. You never knew a time without them and, therefore, cannot imagine their even leaving.
You thought this phenomenon, this universal law, also applied to him, but you should have known better. Your first meeting explicitly laid out your limited time, the fact that you weren’t ever destined to last long. But you initially didn’t realize its meaning and impact, the fact that your resulting time spent together, though stretched, would be almost impossible to end.
With this lack of preparation, you have no idea what to do now that he’s gone. In your head, he is associated with an old song, the nostalgia in the music connecting to the feelings you once had near him.
He’s ruined for you the whole ten-mile radius around his house. You can’t go to any restaurant near it without feeling sad, and, on your way back home, you ask your parents to drive a certain route, purposely making the vehicle pass his place for just one more look, hopelessly wondering if he might come out just one day and notice you too.
You know he’s hardly ever there, but you’d give anything to see him. Somehow, in your mind, you make yourself believe that just merely seeing his face would stop this anxiety and heart-break—just seeing him would somehow make your life significantly better, give you a sense of relief in your current state of total chaos. How were you supposed to just let that go?
You wish you would have recorded all those past interactions so you could watch them today; they, more than any other time, would allow you to know him best. After all, when you love someone so much, you close yourself off, cautiously watching what you say and look like since you so badly want them to feel the same way. It’s ironic–the fact that indifference towards someone actually allows you to know them better.
Your first encounter with him, you were that entirely different, emotional indifferent person. You didn’t regard him the same way you do now, recognizing all his perfectness. Your life was steady then, your surrounding circumstances positive. You engaged in many activities and even was in love with other people, so there was no reason to fall head over heels with him: he wasn’t, at that point, a necessity.
But last year, you became closed-off and exceptionally busy, so his time with you—planned, expected, and mandatory—gave you a constant in your life of crazy external variables. You talked to him more than anyone else and began to need him. All that time, caught up in your outside image, you couldn’t ever be your fun self; he was the only escape from all that.
So, you associated him with your happiest of times and your favorite persona. The funny, witty, conversational, and personable you was the one with him, so you couldn’t wait to see him again. Though your yearning each week at the time seemed excessive, he was consistently in your past, present, and future.
But now, he only exists in your past.
You’re never going to see him again, and you can’t process that. You have so many conversations in your head, things you want to tell him, want to talk to him about, but you know you’ll never get to. Why do you even spend the time worrying about the way you look or finishing the books he recommended? You won’t ever tell him you read them, so why does it matter?
You get mad at yourself, at everything you didn’t do or tell him, but it’s not your fault. No one is supposed to leave your life when you’re this young.
You believed that law applied to him, but you should have known that some people—especially those like him—can’t stay around forever.