Your city looks so different without you holding my hand, lovely. Rose-tinted glasses on the back of my nose painted it bright in the slow-burning heat of last July. Sometimes, I wonder, how you’ve been. How your life has evolved, and if letting me go was the only choice you truly ever had. After we called it quits, I cried to every song that reminded me of you, and whenever the train passed through the gates of your town, a small knife stabbed me in the stomach. Crazy, how life feels like when you are hurt, doesn’t it?
Remember, when you were my baby and we were just kids deciding to be lovers in a hotel room? Your blue eyes glittered away the blue that was spreading over my soul, the touches were infectious, and a weekend, so limited seemed to be unlimited, somehow. Two heartbeats failed to be synchronised, I wrote a million poems about our failed romance. I cried the whole summer away, I ran away from the shreds we left on the minefield. I constructed you on a vision, radiating in the brightest green, just like Gatsby’s light at the other side of the lake.
I kept my green light burning for the longest time, and when I ran into you today, it was strange. I fantasised about this moment for weeks. In my mind, a vision of us, holding onto each other kept me alive in the cold nights after we called it quits. The months passed, and I forgot how your touch felt on my skin, I forgot how your lashes looked like in the morning and how your kiss felt on my left shoulder. When my words about you started to thin out, everyone congratulated me like I had accomplished something extraordinary. Breakups happen every day, just like Taylor said, so moving on was what I had to do, it was what you pushed me to do by pushing me away from you. All the visions I had of us bumping into each other were different from reality. Now, you are a stranger, I met one day after New Year’s day when in summer, I wanted nothing more than to spend New Year’s day with you.
You were my all too well, the vision I created of someone else, rather than accepting the reality. The sound of your voice is still the same, but now, it reminds me of pain, and not of home. Did you forget all the moments we shared? Did you forget how crazy you used to be for my smile, boy with the shiniest eyes in town? Running into you was worse than letting you go, waves of lost intimacy dictated the course of our conversation. I couldn’t say how much I wanted you back when the nights were short, and how many times I screamed your name like a curse word when I was driving through the woods. Your eyes, still as beautiful, but where has their spark gone, what did I see in them? Why does the blue of them just look like the colour these days and not like the most beautiful projection of the ocean humankind has ever seen? Is it buried under mediocre skyscrapers and swallowed emotions? You look as mundane as the dullness of an Instagram live stream during quarantine, the only emotions you evoke in my body are anger and resentment, making my blood boil to a million.
I want to know who came after me and took care of your fragile heart. You claim yourself to be a bachelor now, the loneliest of them all. Enchanting, the sound of your voice, when you pronounce your current relationship status. Why did you think I’d never move on, did you secretly wish to be the subject of my poems until your dying day? You are a banker, confined in skyscrapers that scratch the grey of the atmosphere, wondering if this is all life has in store for you. I am a hopeless dreamer, writing my lovers into characters until my fingers bleed, I cannot deal with attention or too much affection, one kiss too much and I’ll run out the door. What did we have? A whirlwind love affair, I was your favourite best-kept secret, and you were mine. I thought we’d be more than just a notion, so I never told you how miserable you made me in the darkest of my nights. For me it was real, it was fucking real. All the words I said were true, every time I touched you, a little firework exploded in my system. All the dreams I had, there were true, too. All the times I cared, it was genuine. After we called it quits, I continued to live with the naivety that you felt the same. When it was real for me, it was a game for you. Every sentence, every touch, every kiss was a part of it. For you, it was never as real as it was for me.
The memory of the second weekend in July will always tie our messy souls together, just like an invisible string. We will evolve, but the memory will always stay the same. Immortalising it on paper, I want to tell you so desperately, that there was someone after you. Someone so special, he treated me with respect, and never took my touch for granted. I probably dissolved into one of your fantasies, visiting you when the time gets late and the temperature inside your body gets hot. Do you ever miss the softness of my chestnut brown hair running through the knuckles of your fingers? You cross my mind every time I spot the Dolphin hotel in the back of a dusty bookshop, buried between all the other memories you tattooed on the back of my head. I hear your voice when I taste brownies that had the same sweetness as yours, and sometimes, in the middle of the night, you are my favourite ghost.
I was crazy about you in the heat of July, now I am sad looking at the image of what we have become. Weird chemistry in the air, heaps of lost intimacy surrounding us like a ghost and whilst the ship was broken and buried, we carried on doing small talks about our careers. I was mourning the connection we had, I wanted to ask about your family, what you think of Lorde’s new album and how you really are. I wanted our souls to touch again, but what I got what a crash of bones, from the bachelor who lost his most favourite bachelorette. Breakups are never easy, but you couldn’t handle that there was another man touching me after you did, one with way more grace and contentment than you could ever hold in the tips of your fingers.
You wanted the clean-cut, which one do you mean? The one so deep and stained with blood from our broken hearts? You never gave me closure, you gave me a supercut of us, like an unwanted filmreel, living in my head, rent-free forever. I stand by my words, my actions, my last touch. Just before you went, I said “Alex”. Your gaze was suddenly mine again, and I said, “I am sorry if I hurt you last summer”, and you replied with a smile, “you didn’t”. My eyes got heavy and suddenly I said: “well, you hurt me”. Confused yet unable to admit the consequences of your actions, you said “I’m sorry”. Across the bench where we used to kiss and see the world in each other’s eyes, you mumbled an apology through the gates of your lips, as heavy as steel. The sun was shining, our hands nearly touched, and maybe this is all I will ever get from you, even though it’s hard to believe that you mean the words you mumbled. As you turned your back, you ran in the other direction, rays of sun chasing your reflection until it dissolved into the transcendental.