Him, Infinitely

I knew him once, but it’s the memory of him that’s still alive in my mind. Will it ever go away?

Him, Infinitely

Once upon a time, when I was young and dramatic and overenthusiastic, I knew someone. He was as close to me as I thought anyone could be, even though we only saw each other in school, and only texted when he was bored. I replied to every Snapchat as if my life depended on it, and when I passed him in the hallway, I remember thinking life stopped for a moment, and all I could think of was his eyes, and how he was looking at me too.

Looking back over the years, I wonder how much of the true him exists in my mind today, or if my memory of him is simply made out of romanticized fragments of the idea of him in my mind, what I had believed was him. That instead of a person he was an image, a thought.

It has been years since we have had a real conversation, but I still feel like I know something about him. After everything, the tears I shed when I believed he did not love me, the hope and the smiles I wore knowing he would be around me, the feeling of his head in my lap, the romantic scenes flowing through my head, touching his shoes with mine under our desks, putting on his hat, feeling his fingers, lacing my fingers through his hair, laughing about dirty jokes that were not even that funny but they had come out of his mouth, so they were the funniest thing in the world. I remember putting on a dress wondering whether or not he would like it. The dreams I had, where I was the only one there for him, imagining him as a broken boy. The anxiety attacks after thinking that he was hurt or in danger.

Even now, having known him for nearly a decade, and being close with him for only half of it, I wonder if my attachment will ever go away. Do you ever really lose connection with someone, after convincing yourself day after day that you would end up with him? That God was not so cruel as to not let you be with him? After all the effort you put in, the nights you stayed up to talk to him, even though you were not supposed to have your phone after nine. Sitting in a desk far away from your friends, because you knew he would sitting on that side of the room. Stalking his accounts, overthinking every like and comment.

Does that ever go away? The feeling that you would be there through thick and thin, even though you owe nothing? That he might not be the person you think he is or who you used to know, but you would still go to his aid in a heartbeat, that your pulse rises every time you hear his name, and when a notification pops up on your screen with his name on it, every hair on your body stands straight. Whenever you hear his voice, it is like a song that you could never get sick of, like if you were living out a game of desert island, the story of his life, the very essence of him, would be the sole novel you would bring with you.

Does it ever go away? The wondering of what it would have been like if you had been with him... remembering all the daydreams of bringing him on road trips, of staying up late lying on a rooftop to watch the stars. The memory of watching fireforks with him on the first of July, and how it is a memory you will always associate with him, even though he was not with you, not really. He was there, but he was vehicles away. Does that feeling ever go away? The feeling of being on the roof of the van, watching the fireworks show, watching him. And the funny thing is you do not even remember the fireworks at all, you just remember seeing him, sitting in the back of his truck with his family and friends. You remember watching him watch the fireworks, but you do not even remember what the fireworks looked like at all. You just remember the feeling. How it felt. Him.

Does that ever go away?

Will it ever go away?

I wonder...

Bailey Matwiiw
Bailey Matwiiw
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Bailey Matwiiw
See all posts by Bailey Matwiiw