I’ve always felt the worst part of a breakup is untangling each other from one another’s lives. It’s common sense, but it doesn’t really hit you until you’re broken up. Instead of telling stories the way used to, you carefully pick and choose your words so as not to mention them. The story is no longer “my boyfriend and I went on this crazy adventure across the country,” the story is now “I took a road trip across the country. It was long, but it was worth it.”
People’s first reaction when I tell that story is almost always “Did you do that all by yourself?” In most cases, I respond “a friend drove with me.” A friend. How strange it is to call you that. We haven’t spoken in close to a year and the thought of you generally fills me with dread, but for now I suppose I’ll call you a friend.
When we first broke up, I kept the most important momentos in fear that I would forget you. I didn’t know it then, but even without those momentos I would still remember you. It was hard to untangle you from my life. Every great story I had somehow involved you.
I loved you with every piece of me and I loved every piece of you. I loved you so much that even in your absence I kept pieces of you with me. The music you listened to, your favorite spots in the city, your mother’s homemade recipes, even our little inside jokes.
The other day while scrolling through Instagram I came across a post that made me think of you. It was stupid, but I knew you would’ve loved it. I wanted nothing more than to send it to you and laugh the way we used to. That happens often. I didn’t realize how many moments and jokes I had shared with just you. To me, that’s one of the biggest losses. Now, I only have myself to share these moments with. I could try to share them with someone else, but it’d be fruitless. Those jokes and moments were something that happened organically, they’re impossible to recreate. I’ll find new jokes and moments to cherish with someone else, but it will never be the ones we had.
Though they cause me pain, those memories bring me comfort. It means that we had something real. It wasn’t just senseless cruelty. It’s also an assurance that you still think of me. When I came across that Instagram post, I knew that you followed the account. In my mind, you saw the post and thought of me. The inimitable nature of those moments is what makes them comforting. It means they will always be just ours. Even when you find someone else, you won’t be able to recreate them. They’re unique to us and what we had.
It might be sadistic, but even though it causes me pain I can’t help but think of you. Any little reminder of you I hold onto for better or for worse. I can’t forget you, because if I do then it was all for nothing and it can’t be all for nothing. So, I’ll keep remembering you. I’ll keep making your mother’s recipes and listening to your favorite songs. When someone says they’re from the city, I’ll ask what part they’re from just in case it’s the same place you grew up in. I’ll keep going back to our old spots, because even though you broke me I refuse to forget you.