I don’t know when exactly it was that I stopped missing you. It certainly happened in stages. It was really hard for me at first. You were the person who got me through my day. I’d wake-up every morning with you on my mind. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true. I’d look at the clock to see if it was too early to call you or text you good morning. We’d try and make other plans. You needed to write and I needed to catch up with friends. But you’d always call me back in a few minutes claiming you were stuck in your story and needed my help. That was my favorite. You gave me purpose and a place to go to where I was safe. Life at home was always a struggle for me. It still is and it always will be. It’s a reality I’ve come to accept. Its painted scars on my heart that go so deep they touch my soul. Things between my father and I are getting better actually. I forget that he too is hurt. All he wants is for someone to acknowledge his existence in this world and my mother isn’t going to give it to him. Oh, no. It’s too late for all that now. I understand her complaints against the man. They are just and valid, but she also claims Christ as her Lord and for that she is suppose to forgive., but she won’t and I don’t think she ever will. This is why my relationship with her is falling apart. She tells me I don’t go to church like I used to and tells me all of my problems are because of this. This from a woman too full of herself to see the man she sleeps in the same bed with every night is pleading for mercy. Besides, I talk to God every night. He whispers in my ear and tells me that I am beautiful. That he gave me a rainbow soul, a head full of stars and womb the size of heaven. He collects my tears in a crystal bowl and tells me he’s gonna save them to baptize my first born in them. I asked him if I was baptized in my mother’s tears, and he said no. Her tears were too bitter. He used the tears of St. Lydia, patron saint of artists and that’s how I came to be a painter. He tells me my tears are sweet and that I shouldn’t worry. And as he leaves I would ask him to stop by your bed and whisper in your ear that I love you.
Do you remember that time when we were at Sarah’s when she was upset over her boyfriend and as we left her house, I gave her a hug and said “I love you.” She didn’t know what to say and it made for an awkward moment. Do you remember what you said to me when we got into the car? You told me I liked to throw that word love around. You said I degraded its meaning. But it was you who said that you loved me, that I was your heart and that you couldn’t imagine spending the rest of your life without me. It was also you who, two weeks later, said you loved me, but was no longer in love with me. You were in love with her and that you didn’t want to hurt me, but you just had to follow your heart on that. But, you said I was your heart and I’m sure you’ve told her she was your heart as well. Maybe it is you who degrades the meaning of love. I know what it is when I say it. I meant it when I said I loved you for your ability to put your soul in my head through your words. I meant it when I said I loved you for your laughter while I threw snowballs at you in the car. I meant it when I said I loved you when you cried about missing your father, despite how he treated you and your mother. I meant it when I said I loved you for the way you kissed my ear the day I picked up the paintbrush for the first time. I meant it when I said I loved you by coming to hospital every day you were sick. I meant it when I said I love you for telling me I was right. Pain isn’t just black or blue. It’s bright orange, pale pink, ocean blue, deep plum purple and moves in ways that can frighten and inspire all in one breath. I meant it when I whispered I love you into your ear as you slipped away from me and out into the blue.
I don’t know exactly when it was that I stopped missing you. You left me here and there and allowed me to take my life back piece by piece. I’m still at home, living with my shadows, painting with my colors, planning my great escape. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but something tells me you already know how this will all end.