“I remember the salad he likes at Outback, so sometimes, I order it. It’s the one with the blue cheese, the big wedge and that sweet dressing. It’s so good.
I once replicated his taco order from Chipotle. It wasn’t what I would order, but I needed him to feel closer, even if it meant through tacos.
I still know the songs he sent me on the way home from our first date, so I play them.
I reread our old texts. The ones that were hopeful. It’s nice to pretend, even for a quick text read, that I’m living our old reality.
He mentioned shows he loves like Two Broke Girls. I’ve been known to watch it here and there just because he did. I could hear his quiet giggle now.
He once told me to put mustard on my hard-boiled eggs, so I do that, too. It’s not something I would normally do, but you know, he did it.
His favorite candy is plain M&M’s. I’m more of a Peanut M&M’s girl, but I want the plain ones because I want him.
One way I still fall asleep, over a year and a half later, is playing the first date in my mind. It’s the best movie I’ve ever seen. It should’ve won an Oscar. I will never get sick of it.
There’s a famous 80’s song written and performed by Rick Springfield with his name in it. Yes, I play it.
Sometimes, I drive to one of our old spots and just sit there. It is a truck stop. Some would think I’m doing a disservice to myself by reliving moments with someone I can’t be with right now, but I’ve always had the alternative opinion from the majority.
When you’re as deep as I am, you see why it’s just as important to know your pain as it is to know your joy. They often dance together. The adage that Paula Abdul sang is true: opposites attract.
His music choice is hard rap. Before him, I was into country music, but after him, I became like him. I can’t play country like I used to because now it makes me too sad. I’d rather hear Cardi B. I remember him saying the same about country music. I love Willie Nelson, but it’s just too hard, sometimes.
Poker is his game. I’ve found myself using Google to research the rules because reading articles on how to play is just another way he’s here without actually being here.
I know his cigarettes. I won’t smoke them, but I may glance at them when I check out of the store because it’s just another way to feel like he’s almost here, even through a cigarette box on a retail store shelf.
I used to watch the online video of him being interviewed by the reporter when he won the world series. I just wanted to hear his voice and see him win all over again. There are certain people you will only ever be happy for. To me, he is one of those people.
I know his order at Swenson’s: two Galleyboy’s, zucchini fries with ranch, and a peanut butter shake. Typing his order just makes me feel his presence. Crazy, huh?
His day usually starts when most people go to sleep. Lately, I find myself up until the wee hours of the early morning and probably on purpose because I know he’s up, too.
I send the emotional 3 a.m. text like almost every other girl in the world that is a walking heart and tells pride to go to h—.
We tell ourselves we’re not going to do it and then two instant tears and an almost deadly impulse later, the paragraph has been sent. I’ll start over again tomorrow. Yeah right, Felicia. I’ll delete the thread to trick my mind into believing I just didn’t write him another novel. Yeah right, Felicia.
I look at pictures of California, Mexico, and even Vegas. I thought we would be there. Through the photos, I envision the life I thought would be ours. Not every dream has to come true, but every dream can hug you while you learn to live without it.
Call me desperate. Call me psycho. Call me whatever, I don’t care.
I do Felicia and this is how she’s been doing it for awhile now. I’m good with her. I let her feel. I don’t make her hold back. I don’t make her be who people tell her to be.
If she wants to sulk, I let her sulk because holding on to her pain doesn’t mean she’s not living. It means she is.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Felicia Naoum of Parma, Ohio, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Felicia here:
‘I’ve been told my feelings are ‘too much.’ The more I heard it, the more I believed it. The world always seems to find a way of telling us we need correcting.’: Woman urges ‘your gift isn’t your shortcoming’
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