New/Same

by Kristina

I have smelled you three times in the past month. My mind is busy, my feelings occupied. I am dating, dieting, working a new job, spending time with family, cooking, and going out with friends. I’m flourishing. I’ve lost 15 lbs and cut my hair and I’m down to drinking only 1-2 nights a week. My mood is generally positive; my demeanor mimics my attitude – honest but unpredictable. I have gained a new sense of confidence, I feel as if I’m learning more about myself every night. Things feel right, like they are falling into place. I wake up each morning a little more established.

I have repressed my feelings of sadness disbelief pain and anger. I have buried them in the back of my mind, the back of my heart, they’re in the closet of my life. I don’t always ignore them, but I seldom let them surface. It’s funny – how strongly you can feel, only to have that feeling transform into something else in just a few short months. It’s as though time is a catalyst for forgiveness, for questioning, for longing. I find myself driving in silence and replaying very specific conversations from 2-3-4 years ago. They sound different now. I dissect them, I over analyze each word, I allow my mind to wander light years away to avoid the pain staking conclusion I have made: you loved me and perhaps I was wrong. I cannot handle it; I turn on the music.

It’s like a game of tennis inside my head. A special memory comes to me and is instantly combated by a terrible one. Every kiss accompanied with an argument. Every hello a goodbye. Every smile with a stinging, salty tear. I play myself. I lose each time.

I cried for the very first time in months. Like I said, I’ve been occupied. It wasn’t long, it wasn’t a mental breakdown, it was nothing like it used to be. But it was honest. It was real. It was for you. I tried to talk to you as if you were here. Explain why I said the things I said, why I believed those things I heard. But I just ended up crying harder. There aren’t really words anymore. It’s just a long messy history of love and hate, deception and an entirely unattainable set of truths. I have no idea what my brain believes. But I know my heart. I know the unrelenting feeling in my stomach when I hear your name. When I pass your house. When I close my eyes. I know the flutter when I think a message might be from you. I know the sadness that soon follows after. I know the emptiness I feel since you have gone, despite the newfound happiness I have created. I know of the hold you have on my heart.

I have smelled you three times in the past month and seen you once. Each moment, albeit a set of mere hallucinations, was a brief but powerful reminder of the small yet everlasting space within my soul you will occupy indefinitely. If I want you there or not, the memory of your love persists within me evermore. And no distraction is a remedy for that. I continue to repress.