Since you’ve been gone

Sorry if it’s hard to catch my vibe, I need a lover to trust, tell me you are on my side. Are you down for the ride?

-Khalid (Love Lies)

It’s been 5 days since you’ve been gone. Since you left me. The comforter still smells like you. I sleep on your side, hugging your pillow. That’s the only way I get myself to sleep.

It’s been 10 days since you’ve been gone. Your smell has started to fade from the comforter. It no longer fulfils its purpose. It no longer offers me comfort. My sleep’s fading too.

It’s been 15 days since you’ve been gone. I don’t sleep anymore. I spend my time haunting the halls of this apartment that we once shared.
I go from the kitchen, where you cooked while I worked on my latest project, to the living room, where we lounged, with my head in your lap, as we watched some stupid movie. We used to be so lost in each other that we weren’t even aware of the world moving around us.

It’s been 20 days since you’ve been gone. I went out for coffee today and to buy groceries. Why doesn’t life stop when we are mourning? Doesn’t it know you left me for her?

I filled my basket with the stuff you liked, the stuff you ate. And when I realised that I could hardly hold myself together. Needless to say, I didn’t buy anything.

It’s been 25 days since you’ve been gone. Lisa is forcing me to go see a movie today. She told me that I couldn’t put my life on hold for you. You didn’t do it for me, after all. She doesn’t understand that a part of me left with you when you left. And I am still grieving over that part of me and the whole of you. She is forcing me to dress up. Making me change out of the sweat pants I have been living in. She said that she had arranged a date for me. I don’t want whatever guy owes her a favour. I want you. But frankly, who’d like me? You didn’t. You made that clear before you left.

It’s been 26 days since you’ve been gone. I actually had fun at the date last night. I didn’t think bout how you would have scrunched up your nose when I would have ordered a large coke but taken a sip or two from mine anyway. I didn’t think about how you would have just bought a bottle of water, repeating over and over that you didn’t need to fill your body with this junk but still ate all my popcorn. Instead, I focused on Jack. That was the name of the guy who owed Lisa a favour. He admitted that out loud to me. When we were walking home at the end of the night, he admitted to me that the only reason he came was that he owed Lisa a favour. I told him that I guessed that much. But then he said something, something that changed everything. He leant in and whispered, “But I am glad that I did.” I was glad I came too. Because instead of telling me off for buying coke and popcorn, he bought two large cokes and a tub of popcorn. Extra butter. And he wouldn’t let me pay. He grinned, and his eyes sparkled as he said,” This way, you owe me a date.” He has brown eyes, by the way. His warm brown eyes sparkle when he talks. Unlike your icy blue ones that turned grey when you looked at me with despair, which was often.

So really, it’s day 1 since I met him. And we are going to the art exhibition today. I have wanted to see the one for quite a while but was embarrassed to go alone. The one you found to be boring. And tomorrow we’ll go out for dinner and maybe watch another movie. Or perhaps we’ll just stay in and talk. I don’t know; it’s just been a day.

It’s been 2 months and 25 days since you’ve been gone. And 2 months since I met him. I am better now. I breathe more freely. We stay up late just talking. You and I, we never did that. And he listens, actually listens to me. And he tells me things too. He doesn’t find it weird to express feelings every once. Like you did. He doesn’t berate me when I express my emotions; instead, he tells me it’s okay to feel. It’s okay to feel however I want, whenever I want. We go out on dates every Saturday. Someplace new. You never liked date nights because “they were just a waste of time.” But he tells me that it’s worth it. He tells me that I am worth it. That seeing me all dressed up and happy makes it all worthwhile.

It’s been 1 year and 25 days since you’ve been gone. And 1 year since I met him. Our first anniversary. We went to the amusement park. You never took me there. No matter how much I wanted to. It was too childish for you. He bought me candy, floss and corncob. We went on all the rides. Every single one. I love him in a way that I never loved you. He loves me in a way you never loved me. He tells me how much he loves me every day. Even when I am sick or PMSing. He is always there. To support me. To love me. I think he might be the one.

It’s been 2 years 25 days since you’ve been gone. And 2 years since I met him. We went to the Caribbean for our 2nd anniversary together. And guess what? He proposed! It was perfect, just like I dreamt. On the beach in the moonlight. Down on one knee. A private event. No audience. Just the two of us and the stars as a witness. And I said yes. There was no doubt in my mind about committing to someone for life. He makes me happy. And I can live with that forever. We had a candlelight dinner after that on the beach.

It’s been 2 years, 6 months and 25 days since you’ve been gone. And 2 years 6 months since I met him. We got married today. You didn’t come. Even though I sent an invite. But that’s alright. I have moved on. I am with Jack now. We will move to Chicago and build ourselves a lovely little family. But we will hold onto the little moments and keep having our little dates even when we are 95. I love him. And he loves me. And now I know why you left. If you hadn’t, he wouldn’t have been here. If you hadn’t, I would have still been living a lie. Always trying to please you.

And yeah, the comforter now smells of him. And I can tell you, honestly, that they comfort me more than you ever did.

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