here are the things i’ve forgotten:
the physical details. the colour of your eyes. the taste of your lips. the sound of your laugh. the broadness of your shoulders. the warmth of your arm around my waist. the angle i had to tilt my head back when we kissed.
how to be in a relationship with you. how to keep track of anniversaries and birthdays and milestones; how to know your shoe size and favourite colour and plans for the night. the willingness to go a million miles out of my way to help you get where you need to go. the instinctive need to text you every time something funny or terrible happens to me. what it’s like to see something at a store and immediately think, he would love this.
how to love you. to think of you and smile as i watch the sun set at the top of runyon canyon. to feel butterflies when you hold my hand and fireworks when you kiss me. to see a future with you that was infinitely better than any future i ever saw for myself. to place as much importance on your happiness and success as mine. to look at you and think, you are perfect.
here are the things i still remember, but just barely:
the seemingly inconsequential moments. lying on the grass in central park on a hazy summer afternoon with my head on your chest. accidentally pulling down the shower curtain when we tried to shower together and you saying you loved that because it exemplified how fun and ridiculous our relationship was. the night we argued over what we would name our first child, and i refused to budge on athena, even though you were adamant about some ridiculous name that started with a w. the time i walked into my room, saw you standing on the balcony holding my cat, and thought that maybe i could possibly love you forever.
all of your
promises lies. when you told me you loved me more than your ex-girlfriend of four years. when you said you weren’t joking about marrying me. when you insisted we could make it through anything. when you denied having any feelings for her. when you swore you’d rather die than hurt me the way you did.
the things you actually meant. the way you broke up with me, by saying i was no different than any other girl to you and that you’d stopped loving me. everything you said to me that gut-wrenchingly long night when you held me in your arms. the aftermath, when you ignored me and led me on and told me you never wanted to be friends with me again.
here are the things i will never forget:
the first time you kissed me. it happened under a starless night sky on the beach; the waves were deafening, your hands and lips were cold on mine, and i pushed you away because i was scared of how hard i could fall for you.
the first time you told me you loved me. i was sitting outside the elevators of your manhattan apartment waiting for you. the doors slid open and you ran over to me and mumbled, i love you, i love you so much. and i didn’t know if i did yet, but i said it back, and by the time i realised how much i meant those words, you had forgotten them.
the last time you kissed me. we were standing outside the terminal and you had to leave, but i couldn’t let you go. you wiped away my tears and told me four months would fly by and i’d be back at the airport picking you up in no time. then you kissed me, said you loved me, and walked away.
seeing you fall in love with someone else. there are no words to describe how it feels to watch your boyfriend slowly forget you and start pursuing someone else from thousands of miles away, while you do everything you possibly can to believe him when he says he still wants to be with you.
the last time i saw you. we were at the airport again, but instead of picking you up i was dropping you off for the last time. you kissed my forehead, and i told you i still loved you so much, and you begged me not to say that to you.
the night i found out you cheated on me. hearing the words i’d been silently begging you to say to me from a friend who took pity on me. running outside sobbing at 2 am and dry heaving on a street corner in echo park in front of curious onlookers. crying all through the night, because the reality of the truth hurt so much i couldn’t breathe.
how to hate you. to want you to fail. to hope the girl you left me for hurts you as much as you hurt me or more. to feel nauseous at the mention of your name. to know that i will never care about your happiness or your future again. to feel protected — however shakily — under the shield of my loathing for you. to look at you and think, you disgust me.