What light would be cast on me should I disappear? If I fell like a watch over the side of ship to sink in to the depths for eternity, would I be thought of as lost treasure? Would anyone snorkel and explore in search of my greening edges? If one moment I was there like chicken, rice, and vegetables, stirred in to one on a white and reflective dish of white porcelain, would any regard be given to my flavors before I was consumed? What would be remembered of what was there merely moments ago?
“I’ll never forget you,” he says.
“But will you remember?”
“Well yes, I’ll never forget you.” A laugh orbits his words.
“But will you remember?”
Frustration like fumbling fingers trying a zipper.
“What are you talking about?”
“It’s not hard to not forget. There’s no time in keeping a memento of me in your thoughts to collect dust and serve as a quick response when inquired. My hope is that I come up in your thoughts for no other reason than you’ve enjoyed our time together.” A pause breaks the exchange and within it his mind races.
“That’s what my hope is, anyway.”
“I don’t know if that’ll happen. You mean a lot to me. You’re special. I love you.”
His heart reacts like a start gun. The racing is on and he didn’t ask to be at the starting blocks.
“What?? What’s wrong??”
“I….. I always hope for more.” She pauses again. He wants desperately to speak in the silence but the disorder in his head prevents him from starting.
“I’m tired of being more in love than you are. I’m tired of knowing that those hopes are not who you will ever be.”
He tries to speak a few more times. Finally, the pages and pages of things he wished to say sent out nothing more than a simple “but I love you.”
“Thank you,” She says “but I hope you find a love that suits you better.”
Like that, she begins to disappear. Painful nights and realizations that he’ll never experience her laugh or share a bowl of ice cream with her again are two small pangs of many that await him in time, yet he does begin to forget. He forgets and heals and lives on.
She walked away with every step a few miles ahead of him. She knew, had known, and consequently felt little in the end. She had come to no insight that had not previously occurred, and while she knew he would be hurting it was offset by the knowledge that they would be happier a year from now down this road than the one they’d been traveling together. This wasn’t the love she’d hoped to share with someone, and she knew she owed it to herself not to quit before she found it.