I had thought about and anticipated that moment

more than you had probably even thought about me in the past year.

The moment seemed to surprise me anyway,

despite spending every moment before it


You had probably been dreading.


An entrance, a double take, a stutter ‘hi’, a stutter,

a ‘how are you, a shuffle away.

I don’t know why I reached out to hug you.

I guess that’s how it had gone in my head.

Instead, you mechanically propped your arm around me

as I flailed to wrap both of mine around you.

I think you didn’t expect it as much as you didn’t welcome it.

You probably hoped for a matched apathy,

like you had been hoping for since you let me go.


Don’t ask me why I don’t let it go,

because I don’t have the answer

why that chapter of my life,

with you as the protagonist,

has dictated so much of my emotions, perspective,

my identity.

Why I still find myself up at night,

contemplating why you left in the first place.

I don’t have the answer.


I imagine that moment today to be the equivalent of getting hit by a bus.

When it was over,

I watched you as you walked away

from something that once was your everything,

like I’m some kind of burden that you can’t get rid of,

even after you packed up and left this town.

Left me and this town,

still despaired over the notion of your lips

becoming a stranger to mine,

your scent never drenching my clothes or body again,

while you put on the act and pretend like what we had

was not the passionate, miserably passionate, love story it was.

You pretend and rewrite the story until I actually believe it.

Tell me, how is that fair?

 Alexis Parsells

Originally appeared in the 2013-2014 edition of Outside In