I spell your name with bottle caps, write out your phone number with my uneaten vegetables. Your birthday is still circled on the calendar, and I’m still friends with your mom on Facebook. I haven’t stopped writing letters. I haven’t opened the door for anyone new. Yeah, you’re gone, but you do still linger.
Your eyes still catch mine in most of the mirrors, even the ones that never saw you. And I swear I can feel your hands on me when I sit in the room that they built. I’ve got a handprint on the inside of my windshield from our night by the park pond, and I can’t wipe it away. I’ve got two sweatshirts and a flannel that I pretend still smell like you even though they’ve put through the wash too many times to count. The same goes for me.
Despite the countless reminders that you’re gone and not coming back, I hold on. I learned from a young age not to throw away a good thing. I wish someone had told you the same advice. I wish the idea of leaving had been so crushing that you flinched and never gave it a second thought. We could have fixed this. We could have saved one another.
But you spook easily. You run from one pair of arms to another without peaking around your blinders. Without paying any mind to your surroundings. And here I am, forced to watch in silence as I lose you.
But I still believe in you, in us. I believe in fate, and I believe that someday you’ll look at me see all the good that you turned your back on. You’ll see the opportunities you pushed aside. You’ll see ghosts of all memories we missed making. Someday you’ll feel the aftershocks that I’m feeling right now. You’ll see me in mirrors and spell my name without meaning to. And I won’t mean to, but I’ll haunt you.