I do not know why I still look for that car. I haven’t been in that car in years, nor have I talked to the owner in months. I wouldn’t even say that I miss him anymore. I don’t stalk his whereabouts on social media, or look for him at parties, nor do I wake up from dreams where he plays my counterpart. He’s not in my life anymore, and finally it feels like this was by my choice, not by force. I don’t have to look for the white Acura anymore because I’m no longer the girl who keeps an eye out for a boy’s car all over town, wondering where he is going and what he will be doing. I suppose it was never so much about the car, although that much was always apparent. I feel it represented what I wanted him to be and what he never was.
I cannot recall when the car stalking commenced. I would guess it began the summer before senior year when we broke up. I never knew where he was, or what he was doing, and I always wanted to know. The whole summer I just wished so desperately that when I arrived somewhere he would be there too, and that he would be sitting there and get to see me feeling content with my life without him in it. I never saw him though, and I should have realized the fact I was looking suggested I wasn’t as content as I told myself I was.
I have empathy for every girl out there who has lost someone who they have loved. No one ever wants to hear the unpopular opinion that at some point you will move on and stop caring, but the truth is simply that you do. It takes a very long time for certain girls to move on, but eventually you just hit that place where you find yourself on the top of a mountain and you look out and you ask yourself what you are doing spending your days wishing for a boy who isn’t even there to share it with you. (The mountain part is probably region dependent.)
For me the toughest part of letting go was my mental scenarios. I always could predict our bright future every turn of the way, envisioning summer nights spent cozied in a hot tub, and sushi date nights. The scenarios developed as our relationship progressed, and as time went on and I began to realize they would only ever be that- mental fantasies. I began to struggle with denial that the teen fiction novel vision in my mind was merely a figment of a powerful imagination. My acceptance of this was incredibly meaningful. I came to the realization that just because I would never live out my invented sequence of events didn’t mean I wouldn’t experience ones in reality that were just as thrilling. I couldn’t predict what was going to happen to me, but that didn’t necessarily mean I wasn’t going to have perfect moments with the car owner in my future. Sequentially, we did share many memorable interactions in our future, and the majority of which were even better than my fictitious versions.
I always wondered who I would experience all those first times with, and much of those mysteries have been resolved. Now I feel settled and I only reflect on the past with disconnect that I would have never believed possible a year ago today.
Now that I stopped looking for the car I see it everywhere. It’s at the grocery store late at night, and it’s at the red light at the corner of my block. He’s everywhere now, but not in a frustrating way. It’s almost a comforting way, like the words he told me. He keeps his eye on me.
In the meantime, I no longer feel as though I am near death when I drive, so that's a significant step towards sanity. Word for the wise- get drunk off margaritas... not love. ;)