There is always one person in our lifetime we can’t seem to get over.
Even long after the relationship dies and all connections perish, this person stays alive in our consciousness.
It’s not like we spend our entire day fantasizing about them or reminiscing. It’s not like our lives stopped when they left it. It’s not like we haven’t moved on—we might even be building a relationship with someone new.
But this person’s existence is like an alarm clock that rings every once in a while. They’re like the mud that resides at the bottom of a glass—if stirred, it instantly fills the calm water.
Any object, sound, taste or smell related to them, can make them cross our minds again.
If our eyes met, we would still see the same colors and patterns we used to. The smell of their breath and skin would still linger at the end of our nostrils. The comfort they made us feel is undeniable and the exhilaration they brought about is irreplaceable.
They seem to live in us even though we don’t want them to. They’re like a plant that keeps growing when we don’t water it. A cloud that keeps on reappearing when it’s sunny.
And their memory isn’t always welcome. Sometimes, it is penetrating, wretched.
What’s even more agonizing is how our world turns upside down when they reach for us. The mixed emotions they inflict on us are enough to prove how they still controls every single piece of us—and not in a good way.
We know, deep down, if this person wants to meet—or heaven-forbid, run away with us—we wouldn’t hesitate. “No” seems to be the toughest word to say to them. We’d step on our pride, our pain, our strength, just to make it to them.
But we don’t admit this to anyone—we’re even ashamed to say it to ourselves. What kind of irrational person would still be hooked on someone who doesn’t really care about them?
They can never become strangers or mere faces we used to know. They will always be the home in which we felt most comfortable. They’re our shelter, our nature, our universe—everything we have ever known and every planet we’ll ever orbit.
Looking at them is like reading through the words in our journal. They are the pages that contain our joy, our foolishness. They are the box below our bed that knows our secrets, strengths and weaknesses.
We want to get over them. We want to wake up one morning and pretend they don’t exist. We want to look at them as we would look at any other living thing.
And the reason why we’ll never get over them is because they got over us.
It’s like a sickening psychological game that seems to have no end. Unconsciously, we wanted them so badly because they didn’t want us with the same intensity. Maybe they were already over us while they were still with us. Maybe they were never into us in the first place.
We come up with a million different reasons why they don’t feel for us what we feel for them. Why they left when they could’ve stayed. Why they didn’t reconcile when we were ready to take them back.
Worse than the reasons are the excuses we create for them—and we are so damn good at it. But these excuses are nothing but a solace to our bruised self.
Perhaps, one day, we will stop these lies. We will accept that this person is over us. We can keep lying to ourselves and repeating the buts and whys. We can keep knocking our head against a wall, or we can face the truth.
It will hurt. But, as we know, for a wound to be mended, we must have enough courage to handle the pain and stitch it back together.
It’s tough to admit that this person is over us. But, if we do, we might just get over them. Maybe it won’t be until we’re older. One day their alarm clock will go off in our minds, and we may just smile.
While healing may never feel complete, we must keep working to get there. And if we can’t completely eradicate the lies we tell ourselves, then we just have to live with them until they expire on their own accord.
Time is often the greatest healer, but the one that’s even better is genuine love. Love that shows us what it means to stay.
Because just like some people are good at leaving, others are good at staying. And maybe when we find the people who stay, we will finally get over the ones who left.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Originally appeared on Elephant Journal