aftermath | longing

I have lost my best friend.

It’s the one phrase that echos through my day and evenings. It is the endless chorus whose words i understand but whose meaning i do not.

I keep expecting to see windows pop up in my gmail. “Good morning, love,” “hi sweetie” or me asking how she slept- which was always responded to with, “not as well as when you’re here.” My mind floats at the surface of disbelief, occasionally bobbing to take in a moment of reality before drowning again. It is the moment after a trauma where i keep believing things will snap back into place. It’s not being able to come to grips with someone that was so fundamentally beautiful and kind then within the course of 48 hours, became cruel beyond measure.

I have lost my best friend.

I cannot make her laugh anymore. I cannot hold doors open for her any longer. I cannot support nor care for her, tease her, swap silly images with her for no apparent reason other than to make each other laugh, kiss her goodnight then see her face in the morning. I cannot cook with her, go shopping, talk over coffee, play video games nor any one of the many mundane and yet sublime things we used to do.

It would be easy to hang onto the emotional violence she inflicted on me towards the end. It would be easy to cling to how she marginalized me and excluded me from having a say in our relationship, from having a right to have my emotional security addressed. Yes, there are times i need to remind myself of those things but those things came from a… it came from a malignancy that consumed her.

It would be easy for me to slip back into that person i felt i had to be for the previous two months- a person motivated by a growing fear of abandonment and by an intangible need for self preservation. But there is no fear left in me; not for that anyway.

I have lost my best friend.

I will always miss that moment when she got out of her car and smiled at me. I would reach around and hold her and she would always say, “I’ve missed you so much.” And my heart would plummet because i felt like i had hurt her; the inevitable cruelty that distance and time inflicted on us both. I will never miss the hours of dread that we felt on Sundays when we knew we were going to be separated again for a week or two (and sometimes more). I miss moments like when she asked me to help her learn how to change her tire in case of an emergency, so i grabbed the stuff from her trunk, put it on the ground and told her to figure it out. She was grateful for that. I will miss being able to reach over and press the palm of my hand against her back in the middle of the night and feeling her do the same to me. I miss the softness of her voice and the beauty she wove with her hands.

But that woman left me some months ago— she just never told me until the only way she could was with the grace of a nailbomb. I do not want to remember her like that. I do not want to remember what she did to me. I do not want to remember how she gave more of her love and trust to someone that she has known for less than half the time she has known me.

I wish i could remember how to forget.

The most important things in my life for the last four and a half years have been to do whatever it took to see her happy and fulfilled, to do whatever it took to make sure i never hurt her or that she was never hurt (and i owe her two apologies for failing on this). Any and every large personal/ relationship decision i made and every significant chance i took to find work in Washington, were each considered with one single parameter: How does this impact the health of our relationship? These were my guiding principles for almost five years and now they are gone.

And i miss my best friend so very much.