Used to Be

Waiting here for someone, only yesterday we were on the run. You smile back at me and your face lit up the sun. Now I’m waiting here for someone. Oh, love, do you feel this rough? Why’s it only you I’m thinking of? My shadow’s dancing without you for the first time. My heart is hoping you’ll walk right in tonight, and tell me there are things that you regret. Cause if I’m being honest, I ain’t over you yet. It’s all I’m asking, is it too much to ask?

– Niall Horan, Too Much to Ask

What a strange affliction it is –
to love and hate something simultaneously.
You hate that you hear him in every song,
in the way the lyrics crescendo and climax.
You hate that you see him in passing faces.
The smiles of strangers, the hands of longtime lovers.
You hate that can you feel him.
Like a shadow. (More like a ghost.)

You love that you can still remember everything.
Because it’s all you have left.
The memories.
The faint smell of that cologne on his police department t-shirt
that you never returned.
You love that you can still see him sitting on the couch,
watching him watch A Walk To Remember,
and recalling how it was the first time he cried in front of you –
but it wouldn’t be the last.

You love the man he used to be.
the way he used to look at you.
He held you in his eyes like you were a
hundred suns, a million moons, and infinite stars.

You love that he would have dropped
everything to help your family.
That he held a firm handshake with your father,
and always hugged your mother.

You recall the things he said to you.
You’re silly. You’re wonderful. You’re mine. You’re everything.
I love you. ‘Til the end of time.

And you remember how your mom told you,
people never change.

But he did.

So now you walk down the street, juggling love and hate.
Throwing away the future to live in the past.
You marinate your heart in nostalgia and bathe in that faded scent of cologne.
You’ll see his silhouette cry next to you every night you can’t sleep.

When you’re restless, tossing and turning, and pleading
with God to bring him back, for time to rewind, to use every possibility,
to bring things back to how they used to be.

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