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  • Jay



“Why don’t you try to contact her?”

“Too much time done passed…”

My favorite line from The Photograph ran laps through my mind when I thought of you.

The backyard was so breathtakingly calm when night fell. The wooden patio chairs positioned quaintly in the flower garden beneath the string lights reminded me of a place I pray I soon forget...

Journaling beneath the sky was one of my favorite pastimes.

The crickets spoke loudly as to say hello and the music from the folks two houses down made it feel a little less lonely under the light of the moon.

I find myself being still much more often lately. Running from pain gets me nowhere and I feel strongly about learning to face discomfort head on. I know that God shows himself when we need it most and when we least expect it.

The dreams are recurrent and I’m fighting harder than ever to shake the feelings that I wish never existed. Seeing you without really seeing you is the cause of my inability to move forward. Where I was once grateful to have had the experience, I now feel a growing resentment. The stages of grief are slow and excruciating.

Sometimes I stare into space long enough to unpack the mental memory boxes filled with your lies so that the tears don’t fall as long as the night before. My therapist recently asked if I remembered the countless instances of disrespect when my heart felt heavy. She noted that in grief, our minds have the tendency to romanticize the good without accepting the existence of how bad it was. This was true. I have to admit these reminders have helped. I’d lose myself again to the heartache if not for that.

I was always genuine about who I was. I thought that being transparent about my past, my fears, and my dreams were important bricks to be laid against the foundation, but I was wrong. I loved you so deeply. Deeper than I’ve loved anyone. Deeper than I loved myself. If you asked me to pull the moon and the stars for you, I’d have tried to. I’d have gone to the earth’s end to keep you happy because you said that your happiness would always be with me. That it would always be me. I unintentionally gave you everything you needed to hurt me and when the opportunity to do so presented itself, you took it. Time and time again.

I pointed my phone to the sky so that Skylerium could show me where Orion’s belt rested. I wondered if you ever watched the stars and thought of me. I wondered how many years would fly by before you made peace with yourself for being the originator of my grief. I wondered if before you drifted off to sleep and dreamed your happily ever after dreams, if the hidden parts of your mind too, reminded you of me.

If I’m being honest, I didn’t think so. I didn’t see how it could be so, though for some ridiculous reason, I was hopeful.

“Jesus. Aren’t you cold out here?” My neighbor had stepped out for her nightly cigarette. I try to get my quiet time in and get back inside before I’m forced to socialize, but I placed my mind on autopilot and lost track of time tonight.

She had a raspy smokers' voice. The kind you don't willingly sit and listen to.

10 till 11 exactly. Such a punctual woman she was.

I made brief pleasantries and discontinued my thoughts, but not without one final view of the celestial expanse. After a quick 15 second request beneath my breath that God spare my heart from my nightly vision of you, I gathered my belongings, nodded to Tanya, and whispered…


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