These past few days, I’ve been dreaming of you a little too often.
I had a dream of us talking like good old friends. You asked me how I was doing, and in my mind, I was so happy because I’ve been waiting and practicing for this moment a million times. I went onto my long, well-rehearsed script; stories about my family, career, travel, and friends. I was surprised at how confident and relaxed I sounded. I stopped when I came to the part where I’m supposed to tell you about my new boyfriend. I kind of felt awkward so I asked you how you’ve been. You told me about your promotion. How you’ve been spending so many sleepless nights, coming up with copies for shitty product commercials. You told me how your relationship with your mom has gotten worse. Good thing there’s been movement with the music band you’ve long been dying to get on. You coughed. Once. Twice. Too many times. You drank a glassful of water. Figured you were never able to get over your nicotine addiction. Your eyes sparkled as you told me how happy you are with your girl. Of course, I know about her.
Looking back, I should’ve known you were already slipping away. I tried to keep a straight face, but I know my expressions are giving me away. So you brought a cigarette between your lips and asked, “so have you been seeing someone?”
In that moment, I decided to let go of my unfinished script.
And so I told you about the night where I stayed up until 3 am, talking to him; despite waking up at 5 am the day before, for a football event that I had to cover. I told you how I never had to stress about inhaling second-hand smoke. How it felt completely comfortable sharing everything with him; as opposed to how I’ve always found it difficult to let my guard down with you. How he has never compared me to any other girl. How we both share the same dirty humor.
And as I was pouring my heart out to you, I knew I was setting myself free. Free from all the hurt and betrayal. I was there when you had no one. Not even yourself to rely on. I embraced you with all of your imperfections. And just when you’ve mustered the right amount of courage, you decided I was dispensable. I thought it was unfair. None of it made sense. Then I realized, love wasn’t really meant to make sense.
I smiled and sniffed away a tear. I embraced you and said, “This’ll be the last time I’d let you into my dreams.” and so you looked me in the eyes, kissed my cheek and said goodbye.
(c) photo by shelbybaughn