In a quietly charming coffeehouse on Main Street, I’m left to wonder about whether or not you’re thinking about me as much as I’m thinking about you.
It’s always around the holidays that my most stubborn memories of you come back to haunt me; they fool me into believing time together was happier and more enjoyable than it truly was.
Maybe it’s the idea of spending another Christmas alone, or the lack of a warm body to curl up next to on Christmas Eve that makes me wish you were still a part of my life, but the only thing more dangerous than thinking about you is fooling myself into thinking that you still miss me the way that I miss you.
A couple walks by, sharing a laugh between them, and I’m instantly struck by the familiar pangs of jealousy that threaten to reel me back into my nostalgic stupor. I wonder if they’re sharing an inside joke, or if they’re simply in the phase of their relationship when you’re so content with your partner that being together is enough to evoke a smile.
It’s there, by the frigid, snow-dusted window of the coffeehouse that I’m forced to confront the idea that maybe, it’s my own loneliness that has tricked me into missing you. This, though, is an even harder notion to stomach than the bitter words you chose to use when you told me I was no longer welcome in your life.
When it snowed for the first time in over five years this morning, I was jealous of everyone who took to the streets in a frenzy of laughs and snowball fights amidst the blanket of white. I wanted so badly to enjoy the cheer and merriment that the very idea of snow used to bring me, but the only thing I could think about was how fervently you’d wished for us to have a white Christmas.
I sometimes catch myself in the awkward silence that follows my order at the register, because I had grown so used to hearing you order your own drink right after me. The phrase, “old habits die hard” has become so painfully accurate that it is more of a fact for me than a cliché.
I can’t tell you exactly when I started to feel so lost without you. I’d like to think that I’ve been making progress, but my hopes of living a life as fulfilling as the one I shared with you are always dashed when I come across something of yours in my apartment, or when I allow nostalgia to wrestle itself into my headspace.
On a day as cold as this, we would be sharing a cup of tea at my apartment, perhaps engaged in a heated debate over whether or not it was acceptable to wear mismatched socks in public. Or maybe we’d be exchanging stories from work and laughing about the frivolous aspects of our lives that were somehow made far more meaningful by the ways in which we indulged in each other so openly.
The idea of going home alone today makes my throat swell and the uncomfortable sensation of sadness begins to wash over me once again. What is it about the winter weather that makes me crave you so desperately? Is it the fact that I no longer have your chest to lay my head on when we go to sleep, or is it the you-shaped hole that exists in the deepest parts of my memories? Could it be that I miss you all the more when the temperature drops because I know that you won’t be waiting for me at home with open arms and a goofy smile to warm me up?
Do I miss you, or do I miss the idea of you?