You should know I had loved you ever since you told me your name. It seemed like a story out of a movie, the naïve young girl and the older heartbreaker next door. Nothing could have made you more intriguing – your car and coffees and cigarettes and sad eyes. I couldn’t tell you when I really started to fall, but I know I never tripped. I dove right in. Maybe I just didn’t want to believe it, but whatever we had was based on lies from the start.
You were single.
You were truly interested.
You were never going to leave.
You didn’t want me to forget about you.
I don’t remember what your voice sounds like anymore, except how you used to say my name. Whenever I think about you, two memories come back: that day in the country, and the face you made when you laughed. Both of them make me smile, but they also make me cringe, because lately all I can think of is how I will never have them back.
But maybe they were never mine. There’s far too much time and distance between us now for me to analyze those long summer days, when I shivered at the touch of your fingers on mine, or coaxed out that rare smile, or—only once, but God, it only needed to be once—the time I tasted your warmth and pain and ash and lust. I had thought that with such intimacy came a promise, to never leave me in the dust of that country road, to remember my name like I remembered your collarbones, your scent of oil, your dirty fingernails and that sweet September sunshine.
I dreamt about you last night for the first time in ages. It was a good dream too, which made it even harder to wake up and not feel guilty. Sometimes I wonder how a dream can seem so real, so accurate, and only when I’m awake do I begin to question its validity. Little did I suspect, two years ago, that I should have done the same with yours.
I threw away time and money to travel home just to see your face and hear your voice, only to return one day to find you sweet-talking another. Your kiss was not a promise that you’d always be around, and I should have known that before I gave you my heart. All of the little things I loved about you cancelled out the one big flaw in our relationship, which was that you didn’t really care about me at all, because the last words I ever heard from you were “I will.”
And you didn’t.