I remember the first time I had to leave; I went to the desert. There wasn’t much else left to do. I wanted to get away from the city where it never stopped raining. More importantly, I wanted to get away from you. You see, when you’re in the middle of the desert, you only see sand all around. It isn’t until you climb a nearby cliff that you see it for its truth—for the expanse of it. We only saw the big picture when we were not in it.
It bothered me for years—who left first? It was a difficult question, given we both left on different occasions, and it had been far too long for me to rely on my memory. Not that one should trust memory for inquiries of importance. Like a madman trying to solve an ancient mystery, I scoured the decade, flipping years like the pages of a long lost tome, going over and over the same information, hoping for an epiphany.
It didn’t occur to me at first. I was too close to it. I was in the middle of the whirlwind, and the sandstorm was swallowing me whole. Of course, I couldn’t see! But now that I’ve walked further away from you, enough to see the expanse of the destruction we brought, I see it all. For what it’s worth, I don’t regret much about what happened to us, about what we did to ourselves, except one. I regret being the one who started it.
It wasn’t until I was sitting atop the cliff of my flaws that I understood. The fault was never in the leaving. It was bound to happen. The question of who left first was of little consequence. The error was in the beginning. Some things were doomed from the start. I hate being the one who started the collision course. If I could turn back time, I’d go back to the day I told you I loved you. I’d decide against it. I’d never tell you at all.
No, not for your sake, but mine. Perhaps, then I’d still have some love left to give. It’s a foolish thought, now that I’ve thought of it. The love I give is my own. It had nothing to do with you then. It has nothing to do with you now. Maybe, all I need is a scapegoat, and who better to blame than oneself? As if I didn’t see you looking straight at me from the other end of the room the day we met.
But who am I to trust memory in matters of love?