six years later, i’m still unpacking what it means to not know you anymore. it doesn’t hurt. it isn’t a sharp feeling or a dull ache. it’s not even a hole like i anticipated when we first took steps apart from one another after spending years interweaving ourselves together.
i suppose it’s like a phantom limb, but something far less vital to my day-to-day life. a phantom appendix, maybe. once you were a part of me and now you are not and i rarely think about you. but when i do and i’m not angered by the events that transpired and i can recall with fondness some of our memories together, i feel a slight tinge. a twitch of a memory. my body remembers you as a piece that used to be part of me but now operates fully without you. better without you, a poisoned organ that needed to be removed.
when i am able to think of the good times and not immediately lump them with the bad, i hope you are well. i’m not invested in your wellness any longer, nor do i feel responsible for ensuring it. when i hear about things you’re doing that were things you always dreamed of, i am proud of you. happy for you. i think about the boy i knew and his hopes for his life despite the steep odds against him and i flash to the faces of the two lives we created and i hope for them all the things i hoped for you when you were young and fresh upon our first meeting.
i love that person in a similar way to how one loves a child in which they have loose investment. you were just a child when we met, and in so many ways, were still a child when we parted. i want so many good things for the person i first laid eyes on, even if the person you’ve become is so changed and so removed that if not for those two little people, you’d likely never cross my mind.
i do not love you now. i have not loved you for longer than you’d like to hear. but there are times, quiet moments in which i love the version of you i still reserve some space for in the furthest, darkest corner of my memory.