This weekend I came face to face with a ghost that had haunted me for over a year. I only knew him for a few weeks, but when he disappeared, he left a hole the size of one caused by a lifetime love.
It was so unexpected, as I'm sure things like this always are. I had thought about that day for year, what I would say, how I would act, what I would look like. None of it played out. We walked into the bar and I met my friends who were already seated, I looked up and he had already spotted me. We looked in disbelief that we were actually seeing one another after so long. I gave a slight smile, one he returned and the staring continued. My heart was already in my stomach, and I was hoping none of this was obvious to K, whom I came with. It wasn't as I expected. Once before, when I thought I had seen him, I actually got sick, the anxiety was so intense. It wasn't him, but I left before he had the chance to show up, I knew I wouldn't be able to handle it. I was surprised how well I was handling it as it was actually happening, I'm sure it had everything to do with the copious amounts of whiskey I had just consumed. I thought all the feelings I had experienced in the last year would come rushing back when I saw him, that I wouldn't be able to function, that I would be back where I started before the time became greater and the feelings became less. But it wasn't nearly that bad. The feelings were there, but masked by Jack Daniels. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. It couldn't really be him.
He went to the bathroom and took my chance and headed there too. When he walked out, I was waiting for him in the hallway. The awkwardness made me want to scream in agony. Weird hellos and "good to see you's," followed by apologies long over due. I wanted to keep talking to him, to tell him every thought I had had over the year, I needed so badly to get them out so I could finally let this go. In that year, he disappeared so quickly and abruptly, I was left wide open for continuous internal questioning and obsessing, causing me pain like I had never before experienced. It was simply situational, I knew what I was getting myself into when I met him, I knew what he was going through and how out of control I was in the relationship. I knew any second it would be over because he simply needed one less thing to be on his mind. He said he had hoped to talk to me again before I left for the night. I told him it wouldn't be possible since I had come with someone I was dating. We parted ways and went back to our corners, the bell had apparently rung and our time was up. Every few minutes we would catch one another's glance, smile, and return to our surroundings. It felt like it wasn't really happening. It wasn't possible I was awake and really facing my ghost of 2004. The ghost that would haunt me on a daily basis, staying long enough to remind me of what I felt when he just looked at me, the intensity of emotions that filled me with a single touch of his hand...and the fear I would never find it again.
For a year now, I've been thankful that I hadn't held any anger for what happened. Perhaps I'm too nice and think the best of everyone, but I feel it would be unjustified. After all, he gave me something no one had ever given me. In the few weeks we were around one another, I was given a glimpse into what we are all searching for. I would wake up in the morning thankful to be alive, I couldn't wait to even just get a word from him. I went to bed similing even if I hadn't seen him. He could make me laugh like no one ever had, made me conscious of every breath. When he would touch me even for a second, my body would be sent into a frenzy, not even sure I could physically handle more. And that was just my arm. Since then, other's touch have yet to compare. And I'm left wondering if one ever will.
Yesterday was long. I thought over and over again about what had happened and what might happen. I still feel like there are answers to my questions. But I don't even know if I want them.
Either way, I think this ghost is planning on haunting me for life and there's nothing that will exorcise it. And I'm ok with that.