As I walk home from the hole-in-the-wall Italian place on 17th, I catch myself wishing that tonight with you had gone differently, even though I told myself that I wouldn't think about it anymore. The wet pavement is passing beneath my feet now, but my mind is still longing to stay in that restaurant with you. I think I must've swallowed a boulder back there, 'cause I can feel it sitting in my stomach, filling the pit that was there long before I laid my forget-me-not feelings on that red-checked tablecloth. Guess I'll just have to try harder to keep my mind here with me; block the memory of your mountain-spring scent from my brain with a thick wall of cinderblocks; the thought of your jacket brushed up against my skin, too. I think that if I try hard enough, I might even be able to forget the sea-blue color of your eyes, flecked with gold when they're in the sunlight; and by the end of next week, the shape of your solid cheekbones against the collar of your jacket, reaching out to be caressed by my devoted hands, rubbing the back of my hands against your-
I'm not thinking about you anymore.
I'm focusing on my walk home. Yes. The night sky above the city still holds that crisp smell that comes after the rain, the rain that tore through the streets earlier today. I take one big whiff of the intoxicating fresh air. It usually feels like breathing for the first time, but tonight it's stale.
The trees had danced through the winds outside my apartment window when the storm had passed through, and each branch had seemed to be pressed cheek to cheek with the gusts and the smell, spinning in a violent tango dance too foreign for me to understand. But the rain didn't put a damper on our night together. I did.
As I get closer to the drains along the sidewalk, I can hear the water rushing beneath me, feel the vibrations in each step; one foot in front of the other; each calf flooded with warm blood. I'm wearing a pair of green leggings too thin for the cold, 'cause I was wishing that you would notice that I've been working out more lately. You didn't.
I think that If I had paid more attention to the signs, I wouldn't be walking home out in the cold tonight. I wouldn't be replaying that final "I don't love you," over and over in my head, said in your voice to me, then in my voice to your carved features on my heart. I wouldn't be suffering just to save my own tattered pride. I'd still be at home, writing; writing until I could no longer feel my fingertips; writing the world around me away until it was just me and the page; writing a better life, one where I could live without you in it.
I really tried to capture the feeling of professing one's feelings to somebody else and being rejected, and there's no one to blame but yourself, because you were the one that told them in the first place. I've never been in a relationship before, but this is how I imagine it would be like to feel.
In a way, I think that experiencing new emotions is like being in a foreign place. You see new things that you'd never notice. It takes you to new places emotionally that you've never been before.