I found your picture today (I put your picture away)


I’ll admit it: it was no accident. I searched for it. Once in a while I type your name in the search bar, deliberately looking for pictures of you. Brings me nothing but heartache but I do it anyway.

This picture is not unlike your pictures these days. You are wrangling your baby daughter while everyone else is looking at the camera. You are frowning in this one, but you are smiling in the rest of them.

After almost three months you’re probably not waiting anymore, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about replying to your messages. For so long I was so adamant about letting things be. No good could come out of us trying to salvage this, I insisted loudly to myself and silently to you. But sometimes I wonder if I had made the right decision.

You told me that you were not happy, that you were just pretending to be happy for your daughter’s sake. I know your story (and you) well enough to know that this was no lie. But I wonder now, looking at pictures of you where you are smiling or mid-laughing, if it still holds true today?

Maybe now you’re not pretending anymore. Maybe now you’ve learned to really love your new life.

And maybe me, finally responding, would be an interruption.

I do not want to interrupt a family.

But…what if your smiles were just a façade today as they were three months ago? What if, maybe, I could make you genuinely happy as I once did?

The thought catches me mid-step and I don’t move.


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