Yesterday, while scrolling through Instagram, I saw a photo of you, and my heart stopped.
It was a group picture and you were lingering in the back, slightly out of focus, but my eyes were immediately drawn to you. Like always.
Almost five years ago to the day, we met and you got me in a tailspin. I’ve never been the same.
Whenever you crop up in conversation – less and less frequently these days – my friends always ask, what was so special? What was it about you that sent me literally crazy? And the answer is always the same:
I don’t know.
I don’t know why, but there was something about you. It wasn’t that you were drop dead gorgeous, or that we had loads in common. It just, clicked. Well, for me anyway. I can’t speak to things on your end. (I know it didn’t)
Honestly, I thought you were the most interesting person in the world. Before I even knew about your past, there was always something about you that had me hooked. You were so passionate, and I loved watching you talk about things you loved. You were so expressive and so eloquent, and all the better paired with your thick Yorkshire accent.
You made me laugh. Not in a “I have a crush on you, so I have to” kind of way. You genuinely made me laugh. You let me be silly with you without feeling like a total dork. You gave me the confidence to flirt with you, and when you flirted back, I felt like I was on top of the world.
The first time we kissed was against the wall of a grotty nightclub. I didn’t care. I was intoxicated by your touch (as well the cheap sugary alcohol).
The next time we kissed was in a dark stairwell on our way up to a party. It felt like our little secret, like we were the only two people in the world. When the light came on and we heard someone climb up the stairs, we giggled like naughty school kids.
I was a teenager when we met. Naïve, still. Full of promise. I looked at you like you were the world but was too blind to see that when you looked at me… I was just another person.
When I realised this, I was heartbroken. Everything on the inside literally shattered, and I became a shell of who I used to be. It drove me mad. I turned up at your house at 3am, drunk, desperate and sad, begging to know why, why, why couldn’t you love me like I loved you? I’ll never forget the look on your face when you turned up at the door. A look mixed with frustration, pity and disgrace.
Two years after we first met, we bumped into each other. The air hung with the tension of our history, but we smiled and exchanged pleasantries. We talked for ten minutes, more about you than anything else. You said something that didn’t sit right with me, and I thought: is this it? Is the spell finally broken?
I still think about you from time to time. I wonder what you’d think about me, if you met me now; if you saw the woman, rather than the girl. Even though I know we weren’t meant to be (which was hard for me to accept because I really thought we were meant to be), I can’t help but think that maybe you would like this version of me, instead.
You probably wouldn’t.