I didn’t miss him. I was busy, he was busy. Life moved on. I didn’t miss him in my heart or my throat or my gut or in my head the way I missed him before. Everything was normal. Time passed as it always does. Not missing him made me wonder if I even needed him anymore? If I needed him ever?
When I thought of him, which was often and merely habitual, I pondered over this lack of missing, this lack of sadness. I thought maybe he will quietly slip away from my life and my mind and I will not even notice it. After all, things change and people grow apart. Maybe that is what this was too.
I thought of all the people I once loved who I did not miss with any aching anymore. The same people whom I had once missed in a way that stole my breath and weighed heavy on my chest. Honestly, I can't even remember their faces clearly now, but I know that I loved them in the moments and the months that we belonged to each other.
The days passed and typical things happened. I made meals and I ate them. I made a mess and I cleaned it up. Friends called and I went out with them. They all asked how I felt and I felt fine, of course. I didn’t miss him.
Then, on a Tuesday evening, he came to my house. He came upstairs and looked at me without any urgency of missing. His eyes were fixed on me, but he said nothing, just blinked and breathed. Maybe he didn’t miss me either. I was tracing his face in my mind, touching every millimetre of him with my eyes. He looked darker. He’d had a haircut by someone new. There was a spot on his lip that had a split from a sunburn. I heard him breathe and remembered that I should breathe too.
He didn’t look like he missed me. Maybe he didn’t need me. Maybe he never did.
As these thoughts took root in my mind, I started to feel something rising within me. It was twisting my stomach and welling up. My neck and shoulders started tingling. My body froze stiff and yet every part of me trembled with agitation. My eyes started to burn and I choked when I tried to breathe. I choked and coughed and started to cry. My body was in pain. I felt the ache of moving and the need to move at the same time. My bones hurt. I coughed out a breath like a person drowning. I felt disoriented. "Who am I?" "Who is he?" "What has happened to me?" I coughed once more and found air. I fell onto him and he caught me. He looked at me with trembling lips and red steady eyes. “Why are you so upset?” he asked with a shaky voice. "I missed you. I missed everything about you. I was barely alive with you gone.”