The fog is gathering outside the bedroom window of my apartment. A nearby traffic light splashes colors in sequence on my bedroom wall, red, green, yellow, red. I should be sleeping but the oblivion of sleep is not mine to be had on this cold night. I am being kept awake by the clanging of memories in my head.
Moments from a not-too-distant past come back to me, tiny snippets return home to nest in my mind. The sound of your laugh. The feel of your long fingers as they touched my face. I still sigh when I think of your touch. The only person I have ever known who could make me feel fragile and beautiful, utterly revered, with simply a touch.
I find myself searching to recreate some of those moments. A good meal, even better conversation and the story of my life spinning on the CD player. Laughter and companionship. Open wounds examined and analyzed, carefully tended to and healed. Freedom and expression. Romance and redemption. Rebirth.
I search in vain.
It is easy to go back in my mind, and paint over the painful parts. To cover the awkward moments, ignore the signs and signals that you flashed along the way. You left a bread-crumb trail for me to follow – and in my haste to reach you, in my rush to be by your side, I missed them all.
I see them now, thanks to the benefit of my old friend: 20/20 hindsight. I hear the messages you carefully wove in your words; the cautions, the warnings that this was indeed a temporary state of bliss. My foolish optimism knew no bounds and I hoped, I believed. All the while, the realist in me knew that with each step, as it grew into something far beyond its humble beginnings, that it would not – it could not – last.
But when I close my eyes and rest my head on my pillow at night I can feel your hands on my face. While it is the memory of your touch that haunts me, it is the friendship I miss the most.
You tried to tell me. I just didn’t want to hear it. There is no way this could have been a lasting thing. Rebounds are like snowflakes – fragile, unique and never meant to stand the test of time.