By MacKenzie Casey (‘20)
I missed you. The day you left I laid in my bed and watched Dear John on repeat. It’s a horrible movie. I thought it would remind me of you, help me realize that sometimes there are life long love stories. But as I watched it, I realized ours wasn’t.
You taught me so much. That it was okay to be me. You once told me you planned on making fun of my insecurities and doubts every day until I could laugh about them with you because all you saw was perfection.
You told me you loved me. Sitting by the gas fire pit in my backyard drunk off of too much wine from our date in the North End. I was crying, because I didn’t know what I was going to do when you were gone, how I would last three months with only letters from you every few weeks, whose hand I would hold when I was scared, who would beat down my insecurities, lay on the couch with me all day, impress my mother, and corrupt my little brother.
You hugged me, and whispered, I love you, I’m in love with you, and I don’t care if I come back to you being with someone new. I will wait. You had to tell me again the next day because I thought it was a drunken dream — I made you say it first because I was terrified you didn’t mean it.
You were crazy. We laid in bed one day — it was a snowstorm and you came to get snowed in with me. You told me you were bipolar and schizophrenic. I was scared and let go of your hand at first. I saw the good in you — the person not the diagnosis. You told me you had been abused, kicked out, forgotten. I wanted you to know someone loved you for you. The real you.
But the real you hurt me. My parents were away and I had a party. We had a fight, over something small and so insignificant I can’t remember now. You wanted to leave and drive home, but I loved you too much to let you go. You fought with me more, told me to get out of the car or something bad was going to happen, something neither of us could forgive.
I forgave you. The look in your eyes that night was terrifying, crystal blue and inviting like a riptide that sweeps you under and under until you finally realize you’re drowning and it’s too late. You left two weeks later. Never wrote, never called, never looked back. All I had of you was Facebook posts from your family, and one, singular Instagram post sent to me by a friend put up by a girl, kissing you on the cheek, saying goodluck my soldier i’ll miss u.
You texted me two days ago, “I’m finally back.”
What you don’t know is, I’ve learned to swim, keep my feet out of the slippery sand — the water may look inviting, but you are a riptide waiting to sweep me back into the rocks and out to sea.