I’m leaning against the ice cream cooler, waiting in line to order lunch at the deli counter.
You pushed your cart past me.
You were one foot away for three seconds as you shuffled past. You walked slowly, your head down, shoulders slouched, whispering on the phone as you leaned onto the cart pushing it forward.
I said nothing, but for a minute felt it all.
For the briefest moment, my mind wonders what would have been possible if it was just us…
I take a breathe and leave the counter. I move the energy to my body. I move away. I walk in the opposite direction counting steps. I seek self-soothing.
A twinge of remorse strikes my heart. I remind myself, “feelings are data, not directives.”
Breathe. Step. Repeat. Again. Again. Again.
I make my ways long way around the back of the store, grab a few items and quietly make my way to the register, pay, and leave.
I recognize you chose to believe my secrets and lies were the entirety of our relationship. You cannot recognize it was always just us. In every moment you were the one.
Now I live in the new moment, each just as fragile and impermanent.