Hovering on the Edge

February 22, 2014
Today is your birthday. I cannot believe I actually remembered. It’s not like you will remember mines anyways. And guess who texted me today? Hadian, my best friend. Remember her? Of course you do because she told me when she saw you in your car today, you looked up and waved at her. Would you recognize me if you saw me? Would I just be another stranger to you?

I told Hadian it was such a coincidence that she would see you on your birthday. I told her I wanted to see you. I also told her I should text you, but its been a long time since we talked; especially when we stopped talking on not-so-friendly terms. She told me to try. But I hesitated. What if you didn’t text me back? What if you had already deleted my number? Before I could scroll through my contacts to your name and did the forbidden, I received another message from Hadian.

“Do you still have feelings for him?” she asked. It was kind of random and unexpected but it pierced my heart all the same.

My mind flashed back to the day you asked me out in seventh grade and how you were stuttering uncontrollably from nervousness. Another flash, to the day I took your hand for the first time, clumsy and unsure of myself. You looked me straight in the eyes and said, “ No it’s like this.” and you slid your fingers through mine; your rough hand engulfing my soft one. Another flash, and your amber eyes were staring into mine as we slow danced to Mariah Carey at the Valentines Day dance in eighth grade.

And suddenly I was frustrated with myself as I realized that, yes, indeed I still had feelings for you; the feelings I thought were half obliterated long ago. I told Hadian I really needed to get over you, and that you have most likely moved on by now. I was just stuck in the stupid past.

Hadian replied back, the message itself seeming to come with a reluctant buzz.

“I understand,” she said. Then came the dreaded ellipsis, a mark she only uses when she's about to reveal something unpleasant. “ And yeah,” Hadian continued “ He has moved on, that’s why I asked you. I’ve been seeing pictures of them on Instagram.”

Bam! It’s like a slap in the face. But not with a hand¾ no, no hand¾ a hot iron pan is more like it. I read the message over and over and over again. Each time I read it my eyes filled like a sink with a stopper in it. I don’t know why I tortured myself with reading it repeatedly. Maybe I just wanted to find some type of discrepancy in it; any indication that this is some kind of sick joke. But no, at the end of the sentence an emoticon sad-face stared tragically at me. And then the sinks flooded.

Someone, turn off that damned water. Who put that stopper in there? Even now, tears fill my eyes, spilling down my cheeks. They land on the page. There is a tear here and here and in that top corner. There is a stain of a tear on the side of this page over there. In that moment, when I read those pulse-stopping words my heart hardened, and turned into concrete. Then all my memories of you seemed to shoot out like bullets chipping my heart away piece by piece.

Now, there is a small chunk of my concrete heart left. It’s waiting for another memory. A memory that hasn’t come to past yet. It will be the day I see those amber eyes of yours again. But I’m afraid there won’t be any recognition in them; only an impassive neutrality. And only then will the chunk explode into infinitesimal particles of dust.

It’s ironic I just read The Great Gatsby. I was Gatsby reaching for that glowing green light across the bay. I was Gatsby dreaming up fantasies about the next time I would see you and how you would declare your love for me once again. But just like Gatsby, I let the past and lonely dreams block the way to my reality. My dreams of you were nothing but tiny fragile flowers that were already withering away since the fateful day I moved out of town. They withered over the years we talked on the phone about our future, and music, and our schools, and our friends. But now their crushed, and blown away by the wind of your swift abandonment.

But from all the storms and pain in my soul came a great sense relief of me no longer being bound by those deceitful fantasies. And I have realized that it doesn’t matter whether you will remember me or not. The one thing that matters is, I will remember you. I was your first girlfriend and love, and you were my first love.

It was time for us to pass our love onto someone else; and you have done it. Now I know you will treat her with the same respect you have treated me. You have let go and taught me in return to let go. But for now, I’m hovering on the edge of the past. One foot in and one foot out. And I’m ever-so slowly edging into the present. Don’t worry, I’m getting there.

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