But instead, I kept my mouth shut. I lost my voice, as society's conventions have taught me. I did the expected. I was aloof, practical, determined to look strong. And I said: "You made choices that brought us here. I am ok with that, but I need you to let me go.
We need to stop being a part of each other's lives. We need to stop communicating. I need to move on. "Don't contact me anymore."
I didn't want to lose you. I didn't want to hurt you. I wanted your hand holding mine. I wanted to dance down the street, and see the cherry blossoms. I wanted music and wine at our apartment. I wanted you twirling me on the streets. I wanted holding hands under our table at the coffee shop. I wanted board games on holidays. I wanted to hear you whisper "I love you." I wanted to touch your beard and tell you: "always."
I wanted you to stay for more walks. I wanted to bug you in the mornings, thumping on your chest, or tickling you with my hair, even if you push me away burying your face on the pillows. Even if you retaliated with tickles. I wanted to be there for the family dinners. I wanted to laugh and skip together, because not many people can play like we do. I wanted to smooth your hair when you get sad. I wanted to have your back when life gets hard and nobody else seems to stick around.
But the world is big, and chances to meet people are abound. We seem easily replaceable. We'll find something interesting, deep even, and "us" will wither in time. We know this very well, and it makes it easier to let go of the memories and the dreams we shared. Yes, we'll find something different. It'll be alright. Love came to visit, or so I heard. I could never be sure if it actually stopped by.
So I knew you were on the other side the line. I could hear your silence. I wanted to say "Stay with us. Please don't walk away. My arms miss you, my smile is waiting. Come love me." But instead, I took a deep breath, and imagined you gone. I hardened, and all I could say was "good luck out there."
Gina Esslinger lives in PA, and also lives in her imagination. She loves her children, books, and travel. She went to art school in South America, and business school in the United States. She writes as a hobby, and is always curious about the world.