What It Feels Like To Live With The Pain Of Existing Without You

by Valerie Haberman

I'm sitting on a train on the way home for the holidays, and I'm alone.

The vacant seat adjacent to my right is yet another reminder that you are no longer the love I can call my own. It's a fact I have been spending the past several years trying to push under the covers and forget.

I've been layering it with ill-fated hookups, awkward dinner dates with strangers, travels to new places and friendships, that while worthwhile, could never even crack the core of what you meant to me.

With time, we are told all wounds will heal, and we can move on. We can forget about the way we used to come alive from one single glance.

We can live without the feeling of shaking bones derived from one single motion of a hand grabbing our own. We can breathe without the love of the boy who made our whole world spin around him in the most finite, crazy and beautiful way possible.

To be quite frank, I have not been living since you left.

I have tried: I smile; I fake it. I put on some nice clothes and makeup; I go out and meet friends. I work a respectable job, and I pay my rent.

But, at the end of the day, I have no desire or interest in a life without your love.

Here I am, existing in a world that lacks the color of your eyes, the absurd length of your eyelashes, the feel of the lines of your fingertips, the sound of your falsetto laugh.

It's world no longer tied together by your worn Paul Smith scarf.

I know it’s not right to still love you the way I do. I know I should be grateful for what I have, for all the good that surrounds me.

I simply cannot help the fact that every single song reminds me of you. Every night alone in bed without anyone to my right side makes me long for your presence.

But, here I am again, sitting next to an empty seat on the train and praying that if I close my eyes hard enough, you will be there when I open them again and it will all be worthwhile once more.

We’re not supposed to say these things, or feel these feelings. So, I don’t say them.

I don’t tell my friends I miss you. I don’t tell them the world feels empty, horrifying and pointless without you with me. If they ask me about you, I just laugh and say that was years ago. I’ve moved on.

But when the dinner party is over and the high heels come off, I’m left home alone with the tears and the realization that you will never be coming back.

Sometimes, it feels impossible, but on we go, existing. I go from one fake smile to the next.

I can’t be the only one who feels this way, who hides from the feelings inside, who wonders what you are doing, where you are.

I hope you are happy. I hope your laugh is still as loud, infectious and annoying as it was so many years ago. But most of all, I wish you would come home. I wish you could see I love you still.

Chances are, I will never stop loving you; nothing or no one can compare to you.

Wherever you are, and whatever you may be doing, always know I love you. The memory of your laugh, of your touch, is the thing that keeps me existing.

What I wouldn’t give for you to have that again, for you to love me once more.

I want to live without a lie, to love again without need for reason.

I will get off this train in a few minutes. I will see my parents. They will ask me how my trip was, where I want to go to dinner. I will see my brothers, my old friends and my childhood home.

No one will know that during this travel, I close my eyes and think of the time we were sitting together on a train from Paris to Amsterdam. No one will know the pain I felt when I opened my eyes to realize, like yesterday’s sunshine, you are no longer by my side.

It’s time to wipe the water from my eyes, to put on a fresh coat of mascara and pretend this never happened.

It’s time to continue to exist without you.