500 days ago, I decided I was done with you.
Unlike the many times before, when I rashly called us quits, I meant it. Kneeling before you, my knees cold on the white tile, I knew I had to run harder this time. Faster than I have ever let my feet run.
But you chased me. You always do. You flagged me down and knocked right against my heels with your promises and guarantees.
“Just one more time” you plea with a crooked grin.
Wind in my hair, blisters on my toes, I thought of how easy it would be to halt and fall into your harrowing comfort. You would wipe the tears and wrap me up tight, reminding me that no one could love me quite like you do. You always had such a slippery way with words. Their poignancy would ring and buzz around my ears all day long.
Sucking wind and feeling faint, I began to slow down. Fear tingled from my root to my crown; feeling the heat of you right against my back. I squeezed my eyes shut as I came to a slower pace. I didn’t want to see that look in your eyes – the one you always have when you catch up to me.
Then I suddenly pause and begin to slowly spin around – as if you tapped me lightly on the shoulder. Peeking out of just one eye, images start to form from blurs to reality.
….You weren’t there.
I rubbed my eyes and opened them as wide as I could. Looking around in disbelief, you were no where to be found. The heat I felt was the new day sun radiating on my back. I looked down at my watch to see the time but what I noticed first was the date.
I had been running for 500 days.
500 days ago I took off on foot and caught my stride. Although the time seemed to slip by, I remembered every painful rub of my shoe against my worn out skin. I felt tired and unaccomplished- unlike the way you would imagine to feel after such a feat.
But somewhere along the way, I lost you.
Either in the chill of the night or on a rainy Sunday morning, I must have taken a turn you couldn’t make fast enough. I imagine you slumped on a bench somewhere wondering if I will turn around and come back. You’re never quite through with me.
As I start to feel my own solitude, I realize: this is what being done feels like. A long winded run to nowhere and a whole lot of missing you. There is no finish line or celebration- no one is clocking your time or giving awards. It’s just me, myself, and all this space around me that you used to occupy.
But this is only the first 500 days. I have infinity more to chase the warm glow on the horizon. And I believe, if I keep striding towards it, I will find the happiness you couldn’t give me.