If you look back at my journal for 2004, if you're reading between the entries, you can almost see the black title card, stark white letters, that reads "SCENE MISSING." I used to talk all the time about treebyleaf, since she was the most important thing in my life. And then one day I stopped.
Obviously, we're not together any more. I've never really acknowledged that here, said anything about it. I've meant to, time and again, felt I should say something. Today would have been our eighth anniversary. I still haven't figured out what to say, but I thought I'd say it now.
Things between us had already become really strained by the beginning of last year, to the point where practically every time we were alone would end in arguments, frustrations, missed signals, tears. I tried at one point to break up with her, but she couldn't let me go, so I stayed. But she kept not wanting to see me, kept avoiding straight answers about whether she really still wanted to be with me or not. When our anniversary came around, and she didn't want to do anything to celebrate -- straight answers or no, that was when I gave up hoping.
It wasn't that we didn't love each other enough. Never think that. We loved each other fiercely, as only monsters can. But like I said to her so many times, I was sharp in places she was soft; she was sharp in places I was soft. We were both monsters, but we weren't the same. We just kept getting drawn into each other's fire.
With a whimper, not a bang, our ending was drawn out and uncertain. By the time I finally got my plain answer, I mainly felt -- relieved. I hate to say that, but there it is. I got over it surprisingly quickly, and moved on -- to the extent that I ever got over it at all.
I go for days, sometimes, without once thinking of her. When I do remember, it all seems so distant and unreal, sometimes. Like a story I used to tell myself. Or a story we told each other. There are other nights, in dreams unguarded, when it's all suddenly real and present again, and I wake up shipwrecked and lost in the huge and terrible vacuum of everything we unmade. The trips we'll never take, the books we'll never write. Years and decades of unlived future days.
It feels strange that she should find her Elric, and I my Ahna, when we did, when things between us were falling apart. Ahna suits me right down to the bone. Things seem much the same between tree and Elric. I am genuinely happy for her, and I want her life to be a good one. That we each found someone new, someone as right for us as we were wrong for each other, feels like a cosmic joke. Or maybe a cosmic mercy -- some gentle reward for finally being able to let go.
The time I had with her feels like borrowed time, time we stole from the world. Maybe being together was a mistake, but if it was, of all the mistakes I've made, this was my favorite. I still have her mark on me, her symbol in ink under my skin, as it should be. Je ne regrette rien.