Coming Back

Scrolling through archived emails and there you are.

Do you know what today is? Probably not. You were never great with milestones even when we had a shared interest.

Today marks six years exactly since I woke up and realised I had to escape. Still took a couple of months to get clean, though, even though it was only four days later we went our separate ways.

I didn’t actually remember today was that milestone, myself. Some milestones I celebrate, others I do my best to forget. But like childhood trauma and rotten food, they keep coming back.

Just like you.

Today I was sorting through old emails, looking for one from my course convener at college. His name is similar to yours, and when his email from 2015 popped up, so did all of yours.

Fuck. Like a punch in the gut. Like a horror crash on the freeway, a bloody mess I couldn’t tear my eyes from.

I read your words, and the words I’d sent you before that. So of course I wanted to mail you, call you, talk to you, feel you right up close and here with me – but you haven’t been here. Despite all your emails and phone calls. Despite all my yearning and aching. Not for six years.

I sat paralysed, my mind racing at a million miles an hour, trying to find any excuse, any justification to reach out – to pick up my drug of choice: you.

Quitting drugs was easy because it was merely difficult. Quitting you has been harder, and fuck you for that.

How do you quit love? All those connections, those moments lost in laughter and joy and wild chemical abandon? I guess you don’t.

Unless you’re one cold-hearted son of a bitch.

All this time, I sit here wasting my love in euphoric recall – silently, patiently hoping you’ll quit the drugs and that would give us a chance to connect again.

Jesus, even after all this time, I’m still making room for you, making allowances – excuses, really.

So there I sat today. Exquisite agony.

But you know the truth, don’t you? You can’t call. You can’t email. There’s no way you can contact me, because despite my own attempts to sabotage my quitting you by not having deleted all your emails years ago, I’ve blocked your numbers and email, blocked you on social media, changed my numbers and my email, changed my job and left the country.

It’s over. Has been for years.

And after all this time, there’s no coming back.

©️Dave Luis 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Image (edited) by Gilles Lambert at Unsplash


    1. Thanks Gords, yeah, there was a lot of thinking that went into the naming of this one, the ‘coming back’ has so many echoes in my life right now. In terms of SA, that concluding line packs the punch though – serves as a double reality check: aside from the pain of yesterday’s unwanted memory, there is also the pain of missing my friends and connections back home, but there’s no coming back now.

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