Numbers

Two hundred and thirty eight days. That’s how long I’ve known you up to now. Only two hundred and thirty eight days, but you have managed to turn my life upside down.

I keep picturing that moment I first met you. It wasn’t love at first sight. It was love at first “hello”. You said that word as if it were a promise that you were set to keep. That no matter the distance or days spent apart, that word will instantly pull us back towards each other, as if not a single second has passed. That moment you first smiled at me? I know that it happened two hundred and thirty eight days in the past, but it still keeps me up at night, thinking that before you—before it—in a world of sunshiny smiles, my heart was in a constant state of nighttime.

So how did we end up here, right now? How did we go from saying hello to letting go? From holding hands to pointing fingers? From making plans to breaking them? How did we go from finding each other to losing us?

How did we end up here, right now? Stuck in the narrow middle of an hourglass, suspended in time somehow. Two hundred and thirty eight days, gone in a blink of an eye, and with it—seven thousand and three hundred times that you’ve held my hands, three hundred and five times of hearing you snort from laughing so hard, roughly fifty seven times of you telling me my hair is too short, eighteen CD mixes that will stay at the bottom of my drawer, and for that matter, two hundred eighty eight songs I can no longer listen to, because they all sound like you.

Two hundred and thirty eight—our entire life together summed up in a clipped version of numbered days. Still, I wish I could go back two hundred and thirty nine days, see the me just before I met you, and tell her, “Your life will turn upside down within a day. But you’re gonna be okay.”

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