Dear Romance; You are no longer my wife.
Dear Romance; I will remember our first “I love you”; I will remember it and cry for a night—and then, Friend, I will move on.
Dear Romance; I will remember these memories we share as full bursts of freedom, but not as freedom's culmination or end. Not the culmination or end of relationships. Not the culmination or end of good “Love”.
Dear Romance; I will get up and jog. I will do sit-ups; push ups; go for an extra twenty minutes just because I want to. I will not see myself as a lesser version of what you needed, what you wanted, what you asked for.
Dear Romance; I will see myself as a fuller version of what you couldn’t hold, couldn’t see, couldn’t — and didn’t need to — accept. This is okay. Neither of us is at fault.
Dear Romance; You are not my friend—we cannot be friends. I cannot twist my arms into certain shapes just because you say this is the way “to be held”, “to be right”, "to be 'good enough' ”.
Dear Romance; I cannot look at you longingly anymore; the fairytale has faded, and I can no longer read the words. I do not want to.
Dear Romance; When I pass you on the street, I will say hello. I will not be rude, because you did wonderful things for me. Romance; you opened up boxes in my brain that were filled with colors and toys and journeys I didn’t know existed.
Dear Romance; When you reach your hands to hug me, when you smile affectionately, when your eyes linger a little longer than they should — so that my skin shivers — I will not lookaway; I know that these things were once the holiest things I knew; the purest form of “Life” I knew.
Dear Romance; I am different now. I have grown up since we last made breakfast together.
Dear Romance; I know that love looks different than your warm smile. I know that fullness means more than sacrifice, constantly, in your name. Romance; I now know that hope isn’t shackled to your name, like an anchor in a graveyard.
Romance; I do not know if the love I have for you will dissipate; I do not know if the paintings you splashed across my brain; fingernails; arms; legs; will rub off.
But, Romance; your paintings will not be the last; they will not be the “epitome” of anything—except that particular moment of warm breathing (the last one we shared).
Romance; The illusion you whispered and replayed is no longer a mountaintop. It was a stop.
Dear Romance, I love you. I was born with your stories in my blood.
But this “thing” that’s been going on; the oppressive way you’ve convinced me that you’re the best thing existence has to offer; this is over, this is done, this ends — now.
Romance; I will not be rude; it is odd to say, but our illusion was very real. And yet, I will stop being soothed by your scratched records; I will stop calling this suffering in your arms, “Love”.
Romance; I will not be rude. Our illusion was real. And now, over.
A Name You Forgot