Ninety-four million six hundred eight thousand seconds. Twenty-six thousand two hundred eighty hours. One thousand ninety-five days. Three years. Can you believe it’s been three years now since we got our start?
I guess you could say it’s been a minute. And now I can finally say that you only cross my mind occasionally. There’ve been stretches of time when you were so far removed from my radar that everyone around me forgot you ever existed. You know, when I’m in love, you’re hardly even a ghost of a memory. And even when I’m lonely, you seldom drift into my thoughts anymore. I no longer worry that I’ll run into you on campus or at the bars. I’m not afraid to say hello and finally hear how you’re doing. After all this time, I imagine a lot has changed.
Three years ago, I was eightteen. The perpetual ache hadn’t planted itself in my center just yet. I had a weakness for bad puns and an appreciation for good conversation. You were nineteen and you offered both of those things along with a heavy load of mystery. You liked my laid-back personality and seemed unaffected by my standoffish front. Looking back, it’s both unsurprising and miraculous that we ever clicked in the first place.
But everything about us was slightly offkey, and I chalk it up to inexperience. We were new to each other, in a new place, trying to become new versions of ourselves. I can’t speak for you, but I’ve since realized that there isn’t a “new me” lurking in the depths, just the old me continually trying to cycle back and be better. Twenty-one-year-old me has experienced what it’s like to truly be cared for and loved, and I would never go down our path again knowing there’s so much better out there. But that’s not to say we weren’t worth the exposure and frustration – I truly think that we needed each other for a short time.
It’s a huge relief to know that I’m healed now, even though I picked at the scab for far too long, even though I still trace the scars from time to time. And you can’t imagine the comfort I felt when I woke up and wasn’t immediately smothered by your memory.
I don’t know if we’ll ever speak again, but let it be known that there are no hard feelings on my end. I outgrew my grudges and my guilt – time is wild like that – and I hope you have too. Maybe I cross your mind from time to time, but nothing more. In fact, I hope you don’t even realize the role of 2/26 in our history. I hope you have no idea.