I woke up at my parents’ house in the room we used to fool around in. Your sister’s Facebook told me that you are graduating this week. Four years seems to have gone by so fast, and yet the number four somehow still seems tiny. You are much further away from me than four years.
I think you’re dating someone called Courtney. With that name, I wonder if she’s American and I remember eighteen-year-old you naively promising never to fall in love with an American because you wanted to come home and you knew you wouldn’t be able to leave someone behind again. I wonder if that means you’ve converted to my religion then, if this means America has won you over, if you ever will come home. But perhaps home isn’t here anymore.
You once told me you wished you had never met me, that I had ruined your life. We might not speak anymore but there isn’t a day I don’t think of you. Not wistfully, but simply because there are things I want to tell you, things that would make you laugh. Well, they would make eighteen-year-old you laugh anyway. The twenty-three year old Ivy League Graduate is probably above such things.
I can’t tell you I’m proud of you. I can’t tell you that I’m glad you stuck it out. I can’t tell you I didn’t expect anything less from you. And I can’t ask where you’re going next. I refuse to stalk social media in order to find out. If I don’t know then I can make it up. I can pretend you’re having the greatest time ever and running marathons even if you aren’t. I can imagine you as the happiest I once knew you.
It’s weird because I feel sad and I’m not sure why. I’m on the course I want to be, studying for the profession I am extremely excited about, settled with a cat, a flat and a boyfriend who claims he wants to marry me. I have everything I always wanted. And it looks like you do too. Perhaps one is supposed to feel like this about a first love. Perhaps what first loves should really do is crawl under a rock post break up and refuse to exist anymore. Sadly, this has never happened to you. I hate that I can’t tell you I’m happy now. I can’t sit with you on the Chase and wonder just how the hell we ended up where we are. I can’t have a drink with you and celebrate getting here. And I know why I can’t, but somehow it still seems unfair.
And whilst I know my opinion is about as valuable to you as that of a cow, and that you never ever wish to hear from me again, please know that I miss you, I never regret knowing you, and I am raising a glass to you across the pond.
Well done Wonder Boy. You’ve done it again.