When you’d been alone long enough—didn’t matter if by choice, by circumstance, by sheer bad luck, or in lieu of an ongoing feud with the universe—you forgot stuff.
You forgot lying on your couch in the middle of the day as a teenager, listening to music, each track reminding you of the person who just won’t leave your mind. It’s funny how we outgrew that not because we wanted to but because we often, lost the luxury of lying down in the afternoon itself.
You forgot being surrounded by people in a bustling coffee shop but stealing a quick kiss, as both of you smile awkwardly, pretending nothing happened and no one saw; something did happen, and yes, they did see, but you didn’t care. It’s funny how you forgot that adrenaline completely after some time. It’s laughable how you now sat in a café caring what someone might think of you being there alone.
It wasn’t just those things, though. Countless little shenanigans from your life were lost so deep within your memory, it was as if they never happened. No one ever moved their fingers through the locks of your hair as you lay in their lap. No one ever pulled you into a dimly lit corner in an art gallery. Nobody ever looked at you through a crowd, locking eyes with you as they walked towards you. You never had someone steal the last slice of pizza and run away from you, laughing. You never held someone while the sun rose to spread its yellow over everything, but most importantly, their face. None of it happened. You forgot it all, slowly.
It all disappeared as your days became full of yourself, of family and friends—if you had the good luck of having any, of strangers and acquaintances talking about data points and emails. Coffee became just coffee, the days were all the same, and there was laughter surely and so much good but when things went awry, no one told you things would be okay. Yet, they were okay in the end.
Love became a distant memory; a life you once had. You could never be too sure if it was a dream or something that happened to you. At least, that’s how I felt about it all until she laughed the other day. Then, it all came back to me, all at once, like a silent explosion, as if it had never left.