Distance is a Beautiful Thing


On the bus ride out of the city, I will myself to stay awake. Staring up at the sky high office buildings, back-lit by the darkening sky, I see my future painted across the bright office windows. My dreams are strewn across these streets, just waiting to me to fit the pieces together.


As I leave the city lights behind, thoughts of him float through my mind. Seeing him this weekend reminded me of last summer. It reminded me of slow dancing and family dinners and beautiful words whispered across soft blankets. My fingers itch to mend and fix and heal, to type out the words that I know will bring him closer. A year ago, I would’ve sent him those words. A year ago, I had different dreams of a different life and I would have said anything to him to make it happen. Now, I close my eyes and ignore the hefty space he still occupies inside me. I ignore the poisonous wistfulness bleeding its way under my skin. I close my eyes and let the bus take me away from the city.


The cold air conditioning in the bus wakes me up and, for a moment, I forget. I am once again that girl who poked holes in her heart believing it would let the light in. It takes a moment, but two hours away from the city, from him, I can let myself believe that the past is a lifetime away. There are innumerable days after tomorrow that are separate from him and the further away I get, the easier it is to believe. I have a new home now, one that isn’t hanging from a clothesline somewhere between who he is and who I was. I want to believe that I am different enough now, that I know better now, that I am stronger now. But I also don’t trust myself yet because he is like a lonely streetlamp lighting a dark street in my mind that I don’t walk down anymore, but that I can still see from my bedroom window. Sometimes, it’s easier to find light on a dark street than to flip the light switch in my house. The further away I am, the fainter he is, and the easier it is to breathe around the jagged edges of hope. I might never see him again. I am almost home.


It is raining when I get off the bus. I wait for a taxi under the measly awning of the bus station, feeling the rain seep into my sneakers. I think one day, I might finally be far away enough to believe in finality and endings and never agains. Distance is a beautiful thing, but some days, I am afraid that no where is far enough.