by Delilah Summerer

I remember you. Not because I want to. But because I can’t stop.

I remember holding your hand as we walked down the street, admiring the twinkling streetlights sending their orange glow onto the wet pavement. I remember how much you loved the winters here, claiming that there wasn’t much snow in your hometown. I remember your distaste for the heat, for summer, for the season I loved almost as much as I loved you.

I remember loving you. I remember how it felt to be in love. I remember being loved, then being unloved. I remember being alone. Were you the one to leave, or was it my fault? You would always say it was my fault. We would be teasing, and the teasing would turn rough and cruel, and it would be my fault. I would trip on your leg and it would be my fault. I could forget what it was like to feel alive, and it would be my fault. Was it my fault for loving you? For being loved by you?

Your face haunts me. It used to be the only thing I wanted to see. Now I can’t get rid of it, I can’t move on, I can’t figure out who I’m supposed to be without you. Do you hate that? Do you bother to think of me? Am I just a footnote in your memory? I wish that I could be confident in saying that I was actually something to you. Sure, you were my everything and more. But what was I? What was I to you? Something to make the time go faster so you could get busy loving someone else?

I admit, I used you to feel better about myself. That was your fault. You brought out the best in me, then got upset when I changed because you took that away. Why do I bother? I want to get over you. I honestly want to get over you and stop remembering how happy you made me.

We were never made to work. Isn’t that right? We weren’t supposed to last. That’s how you broke up with me. You called me and said we weren’t made to last, then hung up when my words meddled with tears streaming down my face.

You broke up with me. I remember that. I remember that every time dreams are wiped away from my eyes and the day begins. I remember that every time I see grass rustling in the wind. I remember that every single time I look at a blank wall and hear you saying what you would have displayed there. You broke up with me. But when did you leave me? When did you decide that I wasn’t enough for you?

When did you decide that she was?

Did you always love her? I don’t remember her name, or you ever saying it. Did you ever love her? Or was she just the next in line on your list of conquests? It wasn’t my fault. I gave more than myself to you. I loved you with more than I was capable of. And you called me naïve. Because being passionate about being alive wasn’t passion, it was people desperate for interaction. Isn’t that what you said? It doesn’t matter anyways.

You were a bad person. You are a bad person. And you might get better in the future, but I won’t know about it. I’ll never see you again.

And I refuse to remember anymore of what we might have been.

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