I had finally gotten myself to believe that ‘new beginnings’ were for real. Walking over to my new room, with a suitcase of dreams and just over fifty dollars in my pocket, I was ready to begin with a clean slate in the place that I would call ‘home’ for the next three years. The fact that I had a chance at making real friends and experiencing all that college had to offer was reassurance enough.
Until, I saw you. I saw you sitting among the others, chugging at what seemed to be like your fifth bottle. The cheering crowd could not see how you had to empty yourself to take it all in.
“Great to see you here,” you said.
“Do you remember how much fun we had that summer?,” you asked, not even remotely aware of the damage that had entailed.
Mind you, I do not remember the ‘fun’. Summer only reminds me of you – not brightness and warmth, but of anger and panic. It reminds me of the vines that grew too tight, sucking away all the oxygen.
I remember you telling me that you wanted to get away from me because I loved too intensely. Was the most poisonous thing that came off my skin, care? I remember my chest swelling with hope at the very sound of your name and the waft of your scent. I remember dark sunglasses and way too many lies. I remember by my need to leave and my need to love. Wishing I could die, but being scared I actually might.
Perhaps it was time to let go; to wipe off the smile that expired in July. To erase your stale scent from my fingertips, and memory. I will not let you become my unfinished sentence, a cliffhanger, a comma.
For, right now I just want to live. And now that I finally know what I want to do with my life, I will not grant you the power to take it away from me.
So, leave. Stay gone. You had never understood who I was – my sadness, my struggle, who I had become. You hadn’t peeked into my soul. You do not deserve to know how soft and warm it is; how incredibly fragile. Hand over my heart, I will be okay in your absence. I promise.
“That summer is gone and buried away. And so are you.”