As I sit here and I scroll through these old photos on my computer, I stall. I’m hesitant to click the next image. What memories will the next photo evoke of you? I can’t exit the frame. I’m afraid to remain and I’m afraid to carry on without you.
I see the good and the bad as I stare at the black and white photo collage of us. I see your smile. I love your smile. The imperfections you wanted to change were the very thing I valued; that smile. I remember all of those times where I broke through your muscular stance in order to tickle you. You hated when I tickled you. Whenever I could dig my fingers deep enough into the crease of your pit and knew I had them in good enough, I would tickle you until you were weak and I was filled with victory. I can still hear your deep voice rumbling for me to stop and with laughter quickly following. I always waited for that bit of irritant in your voice, because in that moment I knew I had succeeded and I rarely succeeded. After every fail, I’d always whine about how you never let me tickle you. You were a tough one to crack.
I can’t help but to shift gears.
I remember when my immature ways brought your blood to a boil on numerous occasions. I was too stubborn to withdraw from our silly battles, but half way into provoking you, I would regret pushing your buttons just to see if I could get a rise out of you. I was stupid. I equated your anger with love. I thought if you loved me enough, you’d prove that through your want to battle with me. I see now, that I would rather have seen your smile more times than seeing your back pressed against that wall or seeing our apartment door shut behind you. I would rather have heard your laughter more times than hearing your roar.
I clicked next. What happens when I exit this frame?
Will you remember me for the times I made you smile or for the times I pushed you to your breaking point?
Will you want to remember me at all? If you do, will you let the thought of me linger or will you quickly shake me free?
I may always wonder what goes on in the crevasses of your mind. It seems as though I may be driving myself insane consumed with thoughts about what it is you could be thinking.
When we go on, what becomes of this? The time we shared? What becomes of that? Should I be mailing you a ‘Thank You’ card, because it seems as though every online relationship expert stresses how we should see light in the lessons that were formed from our failed relationships. Is that what goes on? Lessons? Should I chalk you up to a math problem, which I’m sure I’ll never solve without a good calculator and a cheat-sheet.
Here I am, stalling again while I stare at a photo of you I took while you were sleeping and I suddenly begin to think how I could never resist being sneaky.