I Wish You Hadn’t Been Make-Believe

I wish you had meant the words you spoke and the look in your eyes and the way that you touched me. Not just in the night when the heat washed over us and the breaths became hitched and low in our throats, but in the way you slid your hand into the arch of my lower back and guided me as we walked or the way I would catch you watching and smiling as I did something ridiculous and ordinary. I still forgive my own unique silliness because you once loved it so.

I wish that last night before sleeping by your side as I listened to your deep breaths, I really could have slipped inside your dreams to play with you there as I imagined. I was so sad that evening knowing what I must do when the morning came. I still wonder what you dreamt that night as your lip curled slightly and your lashes lay softly upon your cheeks.

I wish when you said forever, you had known what promises meant to me. I wish when I had told you what deceits I could never recover from, you would have paid heed and tried to keep the illusory bubble from popping…for just a little longer. Infinitely, maybe. I still crave that intensity and fragility coexisting together in a perfect dance in every partner I spin dizzily with.

I wish you had stayed that boy I loved, my own Peter Pan, never growing up into the man you became who wandered down the forked path in search of faery lights in the distance while I stumbled the other direction. I still look up and fervently rummage through my memory as I seek your face amongst those who shine for the briefest of moments.

I wish I had those sangria lips and hooded eyes for longer than the seconds of scattered crystallized moments etched so deeply into my psyche. Those rainy days and lazy afternoons while we read to each other from books we cherished and discussed the innermost workings of the universe we were so far from ever understanding. Those days made me fall in love with your mind and your ideas and your poetic words, and I’ve searched for signs of your brilliance in every single one to come since you.

I wish I could go back to the moment when you pulled me from within myself, vulnerable, yet so unafraid, because your bravery became my own. I still try to fly even though you clipped my wings as you walked out the door one last time. I remember the wind carrying me higher and higher and higher, and like Icarus, I need to touch the sun once more no matter what consequences I face for dreaming.

I wish I could awaken beside you just once without remembering the pain that came afterward and find myself in that moment…that Sunday morning when we were out of coffee and out of food and out of money and laughing at the radio that assured us love would keep us alive. We made love and ignored our growling stomachs and talked about how someday we would have it all. I still think of all that we endured and how strong our connection was to carry us through so much before the roaring flame died down to embers.

I think of nights parked behind the school and how we fell asleep curled into each other, your head on my shoulder, my head on your heart. I now know to search for that one that I can lull myself to sleep by listening to the rhythm of his lifeblood because you taught me that I can hear my own heart beating in the echoes of his own.

I wish you had existed for real and for all time and as one person. I wish you hadn’t grown immune to everything you had seemed to love within me and dropped me to the side in search of something better. I had wanted to be that one, and I still try to become her with every realization I have of what I am lacking.

I wish, I wish, I wish I hadn’t raised my standards in search of you within every new face I see, because who could possibly be you…the one who changed everything I was into everything that I am? The creator of what I crave. The instigator of everything I seek. The founder of every reason I cannot accept anything less than what I saw in you…even though you didn’t see that within yourself then and still can’t see it today.

I wish you hadn’t been temporary. I wish you hadn’t been make-believe.

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