Gone… Almost forgotten

    In those days I had a very long commute home each night, usually made a bit easier by working well past rush hour. And for a while there, it seemed like I was working through so much during those drives that it seemed as if I was having an emotional epiphany every day. It was exhausting really.

    One night I had wrestled with the demons long enough, and turned on the radio to lose myself in music. After a bit an old song came on the air, and I thought to myself that it was very… Michaelesque.  Suddenly it occurred to me that I had not thought about Michael in … I couldn’t even remember how long.  And as the song played out, I remembered the time, and the feelings, but in a completely detached way.  I probed it for a second, like picking at an old wound.  But no, the feelings I’d had then were just a memory, with no accompanying emotion in the present.

    I had been free of all those old feelings for a while, without actively realizing it, but to suddenly know it gave me an almost giddy sensation. I may have actually laughed for a moment.

    Then I thought of all the years I had carried a torch for Michael, of the period when I had defined myself in terms of loving him, of all the times I had thought I was over him only to find that I wasn’t really. But as long as I had cared, I hadn’t been over him. Only now, when he was so completely irrelevant to my life that I didn’t care at all, was I really over it. 

    It made me sick to my stomach to realize, with shocking clarity, that I had tied myself up in feelings for a man who had never had any real feelings for me — and I had done so for years on end after we stopped seeing each other;  a period of time that was, in fact, exponentially longer than we had actually been together.

    But I was over it now, really over it. I didn’t feel anything for or about him anymore.

    About a month later, out of the clear blue sky, Michael called me. I wasn’t quite sure why he’d called, continuing this illusion that we had become, or ever really been, friends.  Then he mentioned that he’d gotten married. I ignored it at first; there had been times in the past when Michael would call and tell me that, just to get a reaction.  So I thought at first that he was playing at that game again.  Anyway, he’d always been such a pessimist about marriage.  This time I didn’t really react, and so he told me again. Apparently this time it was actually true.  

    I was happy for him, and I told him so. (And I was happy that I was happy for him, if you see what I mean. But there was no need to pass that part along.)  

    In any case, he could tell that I meant it, that I was really, genuinely happy for him.  But I think he was surprised, too; perhaps disappointed to discover that I wasn’t the-girl-who-loved-Michael anymore; or perhaps just disarmed, having prepared himself for a battle that hadn’t taken place. 

    We talked for a few more minutes, I congratulated him again, and then we disconnected.  Again.  Forever.

    I still occasionally hear a song that is Michaelesque, of course. Our histories remain a part of us. But that time is over, and Michael no longer has any part of my heart. And I suppose that’s the way it is:  There some things you don’t ever find a comfortable peace with; some people you don’t really get over until there is nothing left for them in you. 

    Maybe to some extent it’s just a matter of realizing that’s who they are to you, and making that choice not to care about them any more… giving yourself permission to leave them behind once and for all. But it’s not easy… because as long as we don’t let go of them, and continue to savor all the little hurts that go with holding on, at least they’re still a part of us. Even if it’s not a particularly good part.


About aka gringita
Flotsam generator. Amateur photographer. Avid traveler. Christ follower.

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