This Was a Love Story But Now I’m Not Sure

by Emily McPhillips

How you were when we met was never a problem.

I loved you for it.

Your faults were not imperfections to me. They were like the freckles on your nose that came out in the summer. They were mostly hidden, but I knew that they were there. If I looked closely enough I could always find them, but they had charm about them now, they belonged to you, and you being you was an excuse for many things.

I wish I had enjoyed you more. I wish I had licked your every pore just because you were mine, and I could.

I felt like I had found a new planet when I had met you, that I would never be able to find again; it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments. It was my secret and it was exciting. The night sky looked more active than ever. Daylight didn’t exist for the first few months I knew you. Romance works better at night. We would talk until daybreak.

I haven’t heard your voice in over three months. I worry that my memory will fail, and I’ll create an image of you that never existed. I wonder if I got so used to you that you began to not exist at all. I am pawing at my skin, I am pretending my hands are yours; I am trying to remember the exact way you held me.

I can’t recreate any of this on my own.

I am thinking of placing an ad in the paper. I am looking for a substitute love. I am writing my advert, and I am throwing it in the bin before I read it over. I am still in love. And I am joining your freckles together like a dot-to-dot.

I am hoping that joining your freckles together will translate into a plan, and this plan will make everything make sense again. Your freckles will tell me what the problem is, and they’ll teach me how to fix it, because some part of you must be feeling as lost as I am. I can’t remember the pattern of your freckles. I can’t remember the last thing you said to me. All I can remember are feelings, giant feelings that have eaten up everything else about you.

I am in bed and I am looking out of my window. The sky is coal black. My eyes are fuschia red.

On my bedroom ceiling our relationship plays out like a silent movie. It is a love story that follows all the simple ideas of other love stories. I watch it like I am watching a foreign film without subtitles, vaguely understanding it, but feeling like I am not completely in on what is happening. This doesn’t feel like this is my love story anymore, this feels like something completely different to that. I am wondering when did something so simple become so complicated.

I feel quiet and sad. I imagine I feel like how one of those cat ornaments whose head bobs up and down without really wanting to might feel. I would like things to stay still for a little while, just to give me enough time to feel steady about things again; but things are whizzing past me in speeds that are like light-years, as I begin to try to work my way backwards to the things I used to know.

Emily McPhillips blogs here

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