Stroke of Midnight

Everyday Musings, Short Story

2015 fireworksThe clock strikes 12. My body is present in the new 2015 celebrated in with champagne toasts and a freshly dropped ball in Times Square brought to my couch via television satellite magic. My mind has been teleported to 2012- “our first real date.” I had just returned back to where everything is bigger, eager to slip out of the blanket of panic I wore hours early due to a delayed flight and into a dress fit for the downtown festivities to come.

This would also be the first time I would be a part of the cliché ringing in the year in the arms of someone who loved you- or in our case, someone who was going to grow to love you. Although we didn’t symbolically kiss when the fireworks sounded, I was wrapped in your arms. The crowd around us was large, yet the moment still seemed personal, only interrupted when the rest of our friends joined up with us. Moments later, we rode the bus home with me asleep on your shoulder. The perfect ending.

Ironically, we had an adventurous year that lasted until the following New Year’s Eve. That morning, on a lone bench in Alejuela, Costa Rica, we talked about how much our lives were changing in different directions. An intruding streetwalker stopped and offered us unpackaged M&M’s from his pocket, staying until we “ate” them using the classic “pretend put them in your mouth but really keep them in your hand” routine. It was a chance for me to laugh through the tears that were already welling up in my eyes. The inevitable break up happened when the gentleman left.

We returned to the hostel like nothing ever happened, taking shots with new friends. You caught a plane the next morning, we skyped a few times and then you were gone forever.

I spent the next two years hating you.

How could you say you cared about me so much and then delete me completely from your life without any hint or notice? One day we’re talking about Beyoncé’s halftime performance, the next you have untagged yourself from all our Facebook pictures together and blocked me from Twitter and Instagram. You never loved me, I thought. If you did, you couldn’t purposely hurt me like you did.

Today the hurt feels different. I see the situation from a new vantage point, through new clarity. I no longer hate you. For the first time, I truly understand, because today I am in your shoes- trying to get over someone you care deeply for when all around you are reminders of who they are. There’s no magical erase button to make you forget them. Control, Alt, Delete won’t get rid of your feelings. No, there’s just an unfollow, untag and block button to get them off your Timeline and time itself to get them out of your heart.

And honestly, how do you really tell them? Dear former lover: I’m erasing you because I care too much about you, and this is the only way to get on with my life. The words are true, but sound too silly to say. Will they even take you seriously? Will seeing their hurt make you say nevermind? Every direction leaves you stranded up the creek, without a paddle, drowning in your feelings.

I know you may never get this message, but in the off chance that it reaches you wherever it is that your life has taken you, I want you to know that I now understand the hard decision you had to make. And on top of that- I forgive you.

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