It was silly really because I knew from December 16, 2016, yet I held on to that tiny hope despite the silence and emotional blackmail.
It shrank over the months after the third ghosting, like a dollar bill in the pockets of your favorite jeans.... Over and over through wash cycle after wash cycle, becoming dried up, crinkly and barely legible.
But still it held the same value: 1 dollar. One ounce of hope that you were my person.
And one day that tiny piece of hope disintegrated. It was too much (or too little). Too many wash cycles. Too many disappointments.
I'm not sure when that day came. I know I forgot that tiny hope was even there after hundreds of walks alone for hours, and distress-tolerance movie viewings every weekend.... But like a smoking habit, I felt comfort in the deep inhale and exhale of toxic energy. And then it was gone. I reached for it, leaving a bad date or after a shitty day at work, and realized it was gone.
The tiny hope was gone and I wasn't sure what to do with my hands. I held my dry elbows for a moment, feeling their flawed simplicity. And then I felt that deep sinking feeling in my chest.
And as that hope faded-- barely legible on the paper-- my heart beat grew stronger. Each night I could feel it about to burst as my hand reached for nothing. Holding my own hand under the weight of my down comforter; my heated mattress pad the only warmth.
I know you know that feeling. That feeling of deep loneliness and hopelessness. The one that makes you forget what Love feels like; what it feels like to have someone touch you; to have someone inside you in all the senses of the word.
I can remember it like a word on the tip of my tongue. And like a book I haven't yet finished, you filled my dreams while my subconscious tried to put you in some order; to figure out the end.
Until I remembered that crumpled up piece of hope and realized that Saturday was the end, scrolling across the screen with no sequel.
And I reached for my new piece of hope, just as tiny and a bit frayed, but so full the potential of the next deep breath of fresh air.