“I just kind of stopped.”

He uses both my first and middle names when he’s feeling overly concerned or particularly romantic. It was Taylor Lace! when I showed him my tomato red sunburned chest. It was Taylor Lace… when I confessed that I pray for his peace and clarity each night. Taylor Lace coming through his lips or his texts was always an indicator that things were good. Sure, I never did care much for my middle name, but I didn’t mind it too terribly when he was the one using it.

So when he stopped, it smacked me in the face like a brick wall.

After a few days of quiet panic and insecurities, I addressed it. I was so certain that we were at the start of the end, and it wrecked me. Why don’t you call me by my name anymore? He didn’t have a good answer. I just kind of stopped. My heart sank deeper into my aching lungs. Just kind of stopped? Kind of? No, you completely stopped. And there has to be a reason. If you’re leaving, why not just say so?

I reflected endlessly for the weeks that followed. I began to piece it all together; I began to make it make sense. You did stop, and it did hurt, but maybe you hadn’t noticed you were doing it. At least not until I pointed it out. Perhaps it hadn’t occurred to you that I would notice. Or it could be that you just weren’t feeling particularly romantic. I gave you the benefit of the doubt. I told myself that it wasn’t you hurting me – you would never hurt me – it was the disease.

Still, I’m lonely and oftentimes confused. You leave me sitting in lonely layers of Lace that tower over me like all the other things you stopped saying. I ache to hear it all again. I stay in hopes that I’ll hear it all again.

September 8th. 23:25. Goodnight Taylor Lace.

My hands shake as a smile overturns every doubt in my tired body. Things are falling back together. You will overcome this. We’ll be stronger down the road for all the heartache we’re enduring now. I swear in that moment to never again roll my eyes when you call me by my full name. Taylor Lace is all yours, and she misses you.


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