You Never Really Forget The People Who Loved You

I still line up my coffee sleeves with the crease in my coffee cup because that’s the most innocent thing my step-father ever taught me.

I still crack my thumbs because my first love had a terrible habit of it.

I still prefer limes over lemons because my mother did too,

and I still sing the same song every time it looks like it is about to rain

because I swear I can hear my father’s voice singing along with me.

That’s how I know you’ll still think of me every time you hear a teapot whistle.

When you pour the water in the mug too fast,

the drops of water that splash you will burn your hands

and you’ll get a taste of what it felt like to hold you in my arms

but still never really feel like you were mine.


Every time the night falls, you’ll find yourself waiting to hear me say

“Look at the moon,”

and there will be an unsettling silence in the universe that lasts for just a moment too long

until you decide to fill the emptiness

by whispering the words under your breath,

“Look at the moon, it’s beautiful isn’t it?”


On hikes, you’ll find yourself turning around to find me when you realize

you forgot your water bottle half way up,

but I won’t there to pull it out of my backpack

and give you a hard time about always forgetting —

you’ll wish that I was there, even if you took her instead this time.


When you get to the top of the mountain, you’ll think about how I hardly said a word whenever I came across a pretty view.

Now that I’m not there next to you, you’ll actually try it for once.

You’ll sit and enjoy the beauty of our city

from a different perspective,

and you will understand why I so often sat in silence —

it’s called breathtaking for a reason.

She’ll ask you why you’re being so quiet, and you won’t know what to say.

Remember when you would get frustrated with me

for not knowing what to say?


I know you’ll think of me every time you see someone walking their dog,

and you’ll be overwhelmed by the urge you feel

to acknowledge each and every one

because I’m not there to do it anymore.

Or maybe it’s because everyone knows a dog will still love its owner

despite cruelty, neglect, and abuse

and in this you find hope

that I can still love you too.

You’ll think of me every time you have a choice

between the elevator or the stairs.

You hated when I said, “choose growth over comfort”

but those words will echo in your mind

and you’ll find it necessary to take the stairs everywhere you go.


You’ll think of me when you’re drunk and high just before noon.

Your eyes will gloss over with the pills that you pop,

and when you look in the mirror you’ll be afraid of the person you see.

The look on your face will remind you of the look on mine

as tears welled up in my eyes when I said I was afraid for you.

You’ll feel guilty for acting like you didn’t notice my pain,

and for getting out of the car without saying goodbye.


When you can’t sleep,

you’ll wonder how on earth I was a night owl and an early bird all in one.

When you sleep through your alarm

you’ll think of how I told you my biggest fear was wasting time.

When you really miss me, you’ll wake up at 5am and pour yourself a cup of tea.

I’ll be doing the same thing on the other side of town,

but you won’t find me again.


I still line up my coffee sleeves with the crease in my coffee cup

because he loved me.

I still crack my thumbs

because he loved me.

I still prefer limes over lemons

because my mother loves me,

and I still sing the same song every time it looks like it is about to rain

because my father loved me.

and that’s how I know you’ll always be haunted by my essence.

Because we never really forget those who loved us.

We never forget the way they made us feel.

I loved you.

Previously published on ThoughtCatalog.

 

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