The Future of the Past

Dear Diary,

I saw him today. I thought maybe I was dreaming like all the other times I had seen his face and heard his laugh. But today was different; today he stood in front of me. He ordered coffee, an Egg McMuffin and asked for a side of hash browns. I thought about calling out his name or simply walking up to him to get his attention. He was only an arm’s length away I could’ve tapped his shoulder even. I just wanted to see the look in his eyes when he turned around to see the woman he left behind. Perhaps I would see a swirl of surprise and a hint of regret or maybe his eyes would fill with a passion for the nights we shared. But as he flirted with the cashier, I didn’t dare to move. I wanted to run away, to flee from the painful memories of us. But as I stood, anchored in remembrance, I could only focus on three little words. He promised to love me, to never hurt me, to do right by me, and in the end, he left.  

I never understood why he felt I wasn’t good enough. I listened to his problems. I cooked dinner. I was always there if he needed me, and yet he found a reason to leave. I ordered my coffee and sat down at a table near his. He was scrolling through his phone minding his own business, going about his own life, and in an instant, I shattered. Like glass, my heart broke fracturing into jagging pieces. No longer did I matter to him. No longer was I the center of his world. To him, I was just like any ordinary woman or perhaps less. Here I was sitting in plain sight, and he didn’t move to talk to me or use his wit to impress me. Rather, he sat looking through his phone and casually gazing at me as if I were nothing but the chair I sat in.  

I don’t remember walking over to him, but I know I did. I wish I could say I screamed at him for all the tears I wept. I wish I could I say I cursed at him for all the times he said he loved me. But I didn’t scream or curse; instead, I asked him why. Why did he leave? He stammered at first, shocked possibly at my rash statement, but I didn’t care. I asked again, and finally, he answered. It wasn’t a good answer. It wasn’t even a logical answer, but after all this time it was more than I had. And it was easy to leave after that. There was no let’s be friends; I hope you have a good day or even we should meet up sometime. I simply just walked until I didn’t know where to go. All this time, I thought knowing why he left would change how I would feel, but it didn’t matter if he felt he didn’t deserve me. He could have been the love of my life, and instead, he chose to be a love of the past. He decided not to deserve me. Now it’s time for me to choose my own path.  

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