I don’t know where to begin to explain all the changes that have happened in the past month.

First of all, I guess I should relieve the suspension and say that R and I are still talking. We had another discussion about what our ‘relationship’ is again. It really hasn’t changed all that much. He’d still like to be friends and has no romantic feelings for me; I still do. Or did. I don’t know.

I should explain. He said he couldn’t feel for me in a romantic sense, but also said in general he couldn’t feel that way at all. Period. I asked him what changed in the 2 years. I thought he had felt something that was …. special. He said that 2 years was a long time. He didn’t say it, but I think I understood him.

It hurt a lot for the first night. I cried myself to sleep again. I hadn’t done that in such a long time and then there I was, in a pathetic little heap on my bed. But, by the end of the night I vowed to myself that I would be okay. I vowed that I would get past this and not let it affect me anymore. I’ve already let it eat away my life for 2 years.

So, I laid on my bed and I closed my eyes. I imagined a house. Old, white, comfortable. 2 stories with a basement and an attic. Old windows with shutters. Beautiful porch with a swing.

Inside, I imagined all the things that I had saved laid out throughout my house. All the memories. All the saved conversations in my mind. All the pictures he sent. All the pictures I sent. All the daydreaming about our future.

I imagined going through that house and picking up all those things. All the memories and the smiles. All the heartbreak and the tears. I imagined going through every room, every drawer and every cupboard. I gathered it all up and put it in a crate. I took that crate to the basement. I walked up to that furnace with the door and I opened it. I tossed the things I held dearly into that fire and I watched each one burn. I watched the song lyrics he’d send sizzle in the flame. I watched words that he said to me turn into smoke. I watched the pictures that he sent me brown at the edges until they turned black.

And when I opened my eyes again, I was better. I knew it was okay.

I know that doesn’t do a good job of encompassing the changes that have happened, but I hope it leaves an impression of where I am now. Whenever I try to recall something from our past, I come up against some resistance. It’s not much… if I really wanted to remember, I could easily push past it and find those pictures not as burnt as I had left them. But the thing is, the mere presence of resistance is what I need. It reminds me that there is nothing to go back to. That these memories I set aflame are for the past.

So, yes… we still talk. Yes, he still says inappropriately flirty things to me. Yes, he still sends me pictures of himself. Yes, he still says things to me that feels like he’s inviting me into his secret world.

The difference is me. I am different. I look at what he offers me now and I see a stranger. I don’t see the person that was there 2 years ago. I don’t even think that person exists anymore. I don’t see the boy I fell for. I just see someone new. A new stranger. A potential friend. A potential enemy. Just potential. I don’t see the past. He’s just somebody.

Sometimes late at night I do get a tinge of familiarity. Of regret of things lost. But, it doesn’t last long. I try not to let it.

I am trying to change my life. I am trying to move forward. And while trying may not be much, it is a step forward in the right direction. I have hope, but it’s not the same hope I had before. I no longer hope he changes his mind. I no longer hope he can learn to love me. I no longer hope he is lying to himself.

I do hope that he is happy. I hope that I am happy. I hope that the future holds more for me. I hope that I find those same strong feelings I had for him… but for someone else, maybe. I hope that one day someone will feel that way about me.

So yes, I do still have hope. I just don’t have hope for the story of R & I.

— Lewiky


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