The empty bottles, which you had held loosely, make an almost inaudible “clink,” as they smack the ground. An undeniable static is present, and it attempts to thieve the consciousness from you, pulling reality further and further away. You feel the thickness of the carbon dioxide as it pours out of your lungs. Your sharp inhalations seem to fill you with bewilderment.
Memory is a funny thing, you know? You can catch someone’s scent on your shirt, and be flooded with every image of them you had previously suppressed. You can hear a familiar name from your past, and it will ring through your mind, invading every crevice with what used to be. A single chord from a playlist you put together when times were different can wash you out with nostalgia. It will make you miss people who once surrounded you. It will make you miss the person you once were. It will make you wonder if you can take back the words and actions that led you down this path. But those people are gone. The person you once were? Gone. And there isn’t any backtracking either.
The strange thing is that you don’t recall ever saying goodbye. You can’t pinpoint the single moment your life changed, it just did. Maybe it was the domino effect.
One action led to another, and by the time you noticed that you were betraying everything you vowed to be; you were far too gone for it to matter. You lost friends .The scent on your shirt, the name on your tongue, and the lyric that is stuck in your head are all bitter reminders of what you made the decision to give up, every damn day. No matter what you do to evade those choices, the remnants of your past still have the power to shake you up. Each day brought you farther and farther away from the person you were, until that person was simply unattainable. Just knowing that you could have turned around at any given moment eats you up inside, and it always will. There is no turning back. And so I think back to those unfaithful days.
You were always like a little storm cloud.
In the early morning light that smelt of gas station coffee and her brothers’ heavily cologne sweaters stolen the night we jumped into the creek together after drinking bottom shelf vodka at our high school dance, I had hugged her goodbye, returned the paperbacks I’d borrowed. Three days later I woke up to the rain and rolled over to find a strand of her hair on my pillow.it was the strange intermittent period when you’d lost someone from your life but hadn’t yet washed them from your sheets.
I’m going to miss you, I had said the last night she spent over.
You’re my best friend, she said.
You’ll be home for Christmas?
You’ll move up next summer?
But she stayed in the mountains that December with a Michigan boy who read her Henry
Miller under the covers by flashlight, and I threw duffel in a sedan and went west that