Glory Box

I remember everything.
Every. Single. Thing.
All the things I never should have committed to memory.
I remember every touch. Every ripple of laughter unfurling from my open smile. Every lean in that made my breath catch in my throat. All the comfortable silences. The things I instinctively knew before we uttered them. The melodies of every song that made my attention wander to the corner of my mind where you lived. The hours, the days, built on top of each other like playing cards but laid with the permanency of cement. I remember every word I shouldn’t have leant an ear to, the inferences threaded in every syllable the knots of which I never should have taken the effort to unwind.

I remember every small concession. The excuse that went with each. It isn’t much, I’d think. This I can give.

But can I get it back?
I remember the things that I might have imagined, and the things I know I didn’t but wish I had. I remember every compliment and supportive word, every kind criticism and inside joke. In my mind, if I allow it, there is an ever-looping movie of everything and I am sitting in the audience, outside myself, critiquing, quipping, second guessing, shaking my head at myself.
I have seen this movie and predicted its inevitable end.
But still, I remember. Every look that lingered a bit too long. Every seemingly light hearted challenge, spoken like a dare but delivered like a promise, the meaning clear as glass, that I challenged with a demand for action. The simmering, underlying meaning behind the words I pretended to turn a deaf ear to, while I simultaneously tucked it away in my heart. The silences that always followed wherein I soundlessly willed everything to just be apparent. Transparent. Laid bare. Open.
Like I was trying to be.
Instead, there’s this. Shrouds and layers of poker faces and objectivity, of saying the right thing even if my heart knows I’m lying. Of remembering, at inopportune times, the sound of my voice rising to meet the timbre of your own. Of every deep breath I had to take to steady myself from feeling like I have vowed to never feel again.
I remember it all. And I am trying so hard to forget.

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