You were once the world to me. We knew each other like the backs of our hands and spent nearly every waking moment together. There were days when being beside each other wasn’t enough, and there were days we got tired of each other—but the bottom line was always the same; we loved each other. At least, I hope we did.
You used to hold my hand every night and share with me all the ways you thought life was beautiful. You used to talk about how we would build a future together. We would stroll together, discuss the house we would live in, the children we would raise, the lifestyle we would lead, the home we would make. We would travel the world together and immerse ourselves in all the different cultures.
We were the couple everyone thought would stay together, forever.
And then one day it all vanished, leaving behind nothing but words left unsaid and the photos to prove that what we once shared was indeed real.
I was the one who let you go. I chose to give you up instead of work out our differences. You didn’t want to walk away, but I made you. I cajoled and I begged and I was the one who pushed you away. I was the one who let you go, even as I doubted if there could ever be someone else who would love me the same.
When I watched you finally walk away, your back turned resolutely on me, I expected liberation; I expected relief to wash over me. At the very least, I expected guilt to come over me, guilt for not giving my all in fighting for us. But there was nothing of that sort. You simply crept away, into the dark of the night, and as quietly as you had entered. That day, you took something of mine with you. You took a part of me I knew only when I was with you.
With each day that passed since we agreed to go our separate ways, the void in me grew deeper. I wondered if it could ever be filled, and I asked myself time and again if I did the right thing. Can you ever truly let go of someone you still love?
Oftentimes, circumstances get the better of people and events play themselves out. We may have been lovers and best friends once who shared some of their best moments in life together, but all good things inevitably come to an end.
We started off as strangers, and we’ve come full circle—except now, we’re strangers who know all of each other’s little secrets. There will come a day when we will look back on the times we shared together and be able to smile genuinely, but that day will not arrive quite so soon. It’s a journey that only time can take care of.
In the meantime, it’s okay to dwell in the past every once in a while. It’s okay to reminisce the time you both burned that steak you tried to cook, the time you pieced together that impossibly huge jigsaw puzzle, the time you stayed up all night just revealing all your secrets to each other; the time you fell asleep on each others’ shoulders, how you tried to complete each others’ sentences, your miserable attempt at break dancing together.
With the passing of time, as with a million other inconsequential matters, the memories that were once vivid will gradually fade. The shared experiences will one day be relegated to the deep recesses of your mind, and you will be okay.
People tell you that healing is a long and arduous process, but one thing is for certain—it will happen. With the passage of time, even the most painful of memories fade away. When you’re finally able to sit yourself down and look at all your old photos without feeling that pang of regret or overwhelming sense of nostalgia, you know you’re getting there.
I may have been the one who let you walk out of my life, but I think there are some people you love that you never really stop loving. You allow them to graduate from your life as a stranger, but you also remember how they have changed you and made you the person you are today.
So, this is how you let go of someone you love; you take them down from the pedestal and you allow yourself to forget, one shred of feeling at a time.