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I Still Choose You.

I unpack all my boxes. I have dinner with friends. I borrow three forks. And a box cutter. And a wine opener. I put new sheets on my bed. I don’t cry. My mom comes over to keep me company for a few days. You drop off the rest of my stuff and I let Apt 6 get it from you. I can’t put myself through another sad good-bye. I cry. My mom leaves a day earlier than she planned to. I don’t cry. Instead, I clean the floor twice. I put together a dresser. And a shoe rack.

I have a picnic with a friend. I don’t miss a single meeting at work. I meditate every morning and practice yoga immediately after. I recite positive affirmations before child’s pose, attempt bridge at least twice every day, and never forget to practice gratitude before I go to bed every night. I lose weight. I work out and even use the dumbbells you got me.

I go on a girls trip. We sing in the car the entire way there. I hop in the pool the second we unpack. I love it here. I make chimmichuri sauce with pool water dripping from my bikini. I drink more that night than the entire five months of quarantine combined. We dance a lot, but I don’t cry. I don’t drunk text you. I go to sleep. And wake up with a small headache in the morning. But I still go outside and do yoga. Again, I don’t miss any work meetings. I talk to my therapist, I cry. I talk to my life coach, I cry some more. I cry during a good sound bowl session. That is the last time I cry during that trip.

I’m back. I’m tan. I feel better, but the world is getting worse. I buy cookies. Lots of them. I buy beer that I don’t drink. I cook dinner. I wash the dishes as soon as I’m done using them, and put as much spice in my food as I want. I only have to make up my side of the bed, and I can use detergent with fragrance in it because I can. I cry wondering what you are doing. If you’re thinking about me too. I DM you photos of kissing alpacas and Messi, because I know you don’t check Instagram.

Please don’t check your Instagram. I see the beer we drank while watching the sunset in Kauai and want to text you a photo of it, but I don’t. I cry because I can’t. Then, I hang up artwork on the walls. I listen to music. Read books I’ve been meaning to read. Save money. Spend money. I don’t pry. I’m not petty. I’m doing all of the things I’m supposed to be doing, and don’t hate myself when I’m not. I’m being better, and doing me. I am absolutely whole without you, BUT I STILL CHOOSE YOU. I still choose you. Over and over and over again. I still choose you. And still love you. And still want you. And still need you in my life.

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