You ask me what my favorite memory is.
And I laugh and say that there aren’t many to choose from. It was meant to be a light joke, but I’m somber all of a sudden at the truth of the statement. There aren’t many and I doubt there will be many more.
It’s doubt that’s the enemy, isn’t it?
I tell myself to have faith. To believe. To hope.
But no, Buddha was right when he said:
There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.
But I do. I doubt. And it kills me.
You hear it in my voice and soon I hear it in yours. If I can’t have faith, how do I expect you to believe in me? If I refuse to believe in you, how can I expect you to stay?
“I’ll miss you, too.”
Is that your way of acknowledging that I’m pulling away? Is that you saying goodbye?
I close my eyes and sigh.
It’s the way you always curve your arm around my waist every time you walk by me. Whether I’m brushing my teeth or getting a glass of water, you pass by and your arm snakes around my waist slightly, then your hand runs across the small of my back before you continue on with wherever you’re going. It’s the way you give me that teasing look on your face when I get scared. You laugh and whisper encouragement but you always say, “Don’t look at me with those scared eyes.” You somehow know just how to bring the fearless out of me.
It’s the way you make me feel flawless.
It’s the way you lace your fingers with mine as we sit and talk with your friends, or when we’re sitting at the dinner table drinking our wine; it’s the way you squeeze my hand so hard I can feel your bones fuse with mine just before I say goodbye.
You ask me what my favorite memory is, and I want to say, “You are.”
But I can’t.
And so, someday, I know I’ll sit in front of the sunset feeling the sand slip right through my fingers and I’ll miss you, too.