Unread But Open (Letter)

June 9th.

This morning, I missed you while I made an egg. I thought of pancakes or waffles and remembered that we never made that decision. I missed you while I concealed the parts of my face I wished weren’t there, darkened the parts I wished were, and brushed my hair. I thought of your hair. It felt like feathers. Mine is coarser, but it still reminded me of you. When I walked out the door, I missed you. I remembered the immediate smile your face always forced onto mine. Especially when the weeks went by between seeing you. I missed you when I squished into the subway—next to business people in their sharp or wrinkled suits or even the business casual their hip firm has come to accept. Each of those business-goers stood so close to me I could see the subtle designs on their expensive shoes. And then I missed you. I thought of your ugly shoes. I tried to hate you once, and I used those shoes as fuel. I resented the 90’s manchild version as much as the dress shoes with jeans. If we’re being honest, I never cared about your shoes, though. I only cared that you were next to me and that time had frozen just for those moments. I missed you when yet another disappointment began and ended. He would never be you. When I plugged in my headphones, put my leather heels up on my makeshift footstool, and pretended to explain the intricacies of some court somewhere, I missed you. I sat in my chair and looked at this letter. A song had come on that forced my memory to that moment I gave up. It was the same moment I made myself hate your shoes because you didn’t tell me to stay. I missed you while I drank an overpriced decafsoyicedlatte and remembered your poor attempt to stay awake with watered-down coffee. It was the first night I met you. You told me your resolutions, and I wondered if you really didn’t know how to make coffee. When I left that tall building in my worn out shoes with their newly found hole in the sole, I remembered how misplaced you would seem next to those skyscrapers, honking cars, and me. But with each step I took, I missed you. I missed you as I stood on the pier. I missed you as I looked over the bay. I missed you as I heard a ship’s horn. I missed you as I tore this letter into pieces. I missed you as the dirty water set it free. I missed you as I turned and walked home.

When I let myself remember again, I will miss you when I breathe. When my heart beats and when my eyes see and nose smells and ears hear—I will miss you.

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