If I Could

“I’d take you with me if I could.”

With goodbye only two days away, I find myself grappling with all of these feelings that I could talk about but probably won’t. I’m in a near-constant state of anxiety, worried that I’ll cross a line but not cross it far enough. This is just who I am – the girl who cannot ever see whether she is too little or too much. The girl who you’ll remember even if you’re not sure why you do.

I think back on our best moments and our worst, and I still see nothing but your patience and our knack for amazing teamwork. I talk you through lows, you point me in the direction of highs. We keep one another from inching too close to the edge, and in return, we’ve gotten to experience this one-of-a-kind dance with fate as we grow closer. We’ve learned to step backwards sometimes, too. Good things have come to us because we always found balance in one another.

Now I mourn for all the moments we won’t get to have. Now it’s up to my imagination to decide how you might look in a hoodie or what you sound like over the phone when you have a cold. We won’t get to talk about our holidays or what’s new with our families. You won’t be here to tease me on my birthday or to bring me umbrellas to the front door or to keep an eye on me when my depression rears its head. You make me miss things about you that I don’t even know yet.

“I’d take you with me if I could,” you say, finally giving in and cutting to the chase. You’ve said it so many different ways, always in a swell of silence – you only ever wanted to leave, not to leave me behind.

I know that you have to go. It’s going to be what’s best for you; it’s what makes the most sense. You’ll have better opportunities and fewer unwarranted arguments. You won’t have to miss church anymore, and you can sleep in on Saturdays. Sure, we may feel out of balance for a while, but that doesn’t mean the good things all go away. Good things are waiting for you there, too. The only thing still waiting for you here is me.

“You know I care about you, right?” you ask, worry flooding the blue eyes I’ve practically memorized. And I feel bad that I’ve detracted from your excitement, but goodbye gets heavier with each day that passes.

“I know you do,” I whisper.

“And you know you’ll be okay when I leave, don’t you?”

“We’ll see,” I say, and he frowns. So many other things itch on the tip of my tongue. I swallow them back. You know I’d keep you if I could.

 

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