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Of Nostalgia and Blue Skies

Sometimes I see a brightly shining sun; a mannequin in a store window; an apple; a flash of pale skin underneath a strip of delicate lace; and I remember.

y memory of that day is sensory. Sometimes I'll remember the brilliant shine of a smile, the sweet scent of shampoo, a musical laugh, the feeling of soft skin wrapped around gentle curves beneath my fingertips, and the flavor of that same skin, which I had previously only tasted in my dreams. Most days all I can remember is a silver chain draped around a delicate wrist, from it hanging an apple and a metaphor.

From time to time I wonder if you still wear that kiss upon your wrist. I wonder if you still carry it, carry me, everywhere you go, the same way I carry the heavy albatross of your memory. That silver chain would be a symbol for me, you said; it would serve as a welcomed shackle that would bind you to me, to remind you that someone out there loves loved you. I remember how you said you'd show the world, and that swell of pride I felt, because for that beautiful, fleeting, horrible moment, you were mine.

It's been about 90 days, and these thoughts and memories and questions still plague me. There are still so many things I wish I knew, like what ruined you, if you're happy without me, if your memories of me are fond or painful, or bittersweet like mine. I wonder if you still wear that bracelet I gave you so long ago, but mostly I wonder if you still think of me from time to time.

In a way, I'm a lot like the apple that may or may not still hang from your wrist; a forbidden fruit that you insisted on tasting. To this day I still lose sleep, wondering if you ever really loved me, wondering if I was just an option for you, ever after I made you my top priority.

When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining and the air smelled like summer. It's when that warm breeze hits my skin that I'm forced to remember that summer so long ago, when I must put on a brave face and pretend that some part of me doesn't miss you, pretend that I don't wish I could pick up the phone and not have to wonder if you'd answer.

It was roughly 90 days ago that I made one of the hardest decisions I've ever made; when I grew tired of picking up pieces and doubting myself; when I realized that enough was enough and that no matter how desperately I wished you were real, if I ever wanted to stop blaming myself, I had to let you go.

With each summer that descends upon me, I am forced to remember a time when I loved you more than anything or anyone in the world. I only hope that silver chain on your wrist reminds you of everything you once had, everything you gave up.

I miss you.

But until I can learn to love myself again, I don't  know how I can be expected to love anybody else, let alone you.

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July 2011