I often picture that my mind is on a string tied to yours and the connecting knot has grown too complex to ever completely separate them. I was fifteen when we first met, eighteen when we first fell in love, twenty-one when we first fell out, and am holding out at twenty-three for another major development.
My father never fully approved of you and my mother passed away two weeks before our last date night. To lose both of my everything’s at once like it was nothing sent my heart sailing through space with no oxygen or reroute back to Earth. I sank into an overwhelming bleakness like the Titanic sank into the black suffocation of the sea— quickly and with no apologies until the news reporters made me feel sorry for it.
The cure for a broken heart is one that I have searched intently for within the better half of the last two years. Writing, crying, drinking, thinking, not thinking, reminiscing, and praying did for me what no one else could. All that and a bag of chips. All that until I Saw You Walk Across The Street Last Weekend and wished stop signs didn’t exist or cars didn’t have brakes.
My parents’ love story was one that I admired but never wanted for myself. Probably because the only part I truly admired was when they were apart, and the screaming finally came to a halt. I found this loud trait in you because it was all I had known growing up; how to scream when I was angry and accept your insults until my face turned redder than my father’s fists. When it rains it pours, and he often stormed over her head instantaneously, leaving no time to grab an umbrella.
The storm eventually turned into a tsunami that intertwined blood and tears and death and jail. By the way, orange is definitely not my father’s color. And blue wasn’t mine until you told me it looked good on me. Twenty-three’s theme was meant to be yellow, like sunflowers and banana chips and pencils that I used to write songs about you and my mom when it rained. So far, the yellow theme has been more like scorching heat and bright broken flip flops and melted lemon sorbet that reminds me of our last summer spent together. The lemon flavor was still there but its scoops had turned into weak puddles hugging the bottom of a glass neither one of us wanted to freeze over again to preserve.
We were out of the bitter cold that had kept it from melting, and the once lemon color was eventually overtaken by that of the tinted blue glass.
Seeing my father behind bars was an image that I’d secretly engraved into every shout he hurled at my mother, but it was far less glamorous outside of my head. Much more depressing. Or maybe, that’s just my prominent state of mind now. Don’t get me wrong, I’d seen him behind bars plenty of times before, but this new kind was missing music and drinks and hands on waists that didn’t belong to him. This time was different, but he deserves it. He deserves to spend the rest of his days staring at gray concrete cell walls while my mom stares at the inside of her eyelids six feet under.
I’ve been meaning to write a letter to you as the impending doom of what would have been our five-year anniversary nears its forever place on our imaginary timeline. I guess this will have to do. The part that sucks about this entire thing— and read that how you will— is that sometimes when I think, the voice of my inner dialogue is yours. It’s yours telling me to apologize for how I’m feeling, or not blame myself for the bruises that were left on my mother, or the stab wounds in her heart, or the stab wounds left in mine from you taking too much and giving too little. For a while, I was fooled into thinking the voice was my own. But this was because I had forgotten what mine sounded like.
Still, I miss you. I miss the way you’d pull me back into shore after letting me wade out into oblivion and feeling like I deserved the warm embrace of someone besides my mother. I miss the way we’d laugh at everything and anything in a room because we knew the lemon sorbet would melt without the freezing puff we’d give off with each cackle. I miss wearing my blue dress on date night for you.
Because no matter how much I wanted yellow, I always wanted you more.