by JC Isabell
Things come and go, but memories remain the same. But not for everyone.
|You send me a text. It's a late Thursday night. 10:32 PM to be exact.
"Can I get my notebook back? I think it's the last thing I have left there. It's the yellow one, on the shelf."
Yes, I know the notebook.
I know where it is.
And yes, you can have it back.
But it wasn't the last thing you left.
You left your body wash on the bathtub ledge,
The one that makes you smell like a fresh-cut evergreen in the middle of a Michigan summer.
It smelled like Christmas wherever you went,
No matter the place, and no matter the season.
We switched to that scent after you found out I was allergic to the pineapple one you had.
You've always been so considerate to those around you.
I wonder if you've switched back to it.
You also left the scarf Nanna knitted for your birthday a few years ago on the back of the bedroom door.
We had almost every person we knew over,
People cramped in every corner, ducking behind any type of cover there was,
And you had no idea why your brother insisted taking you out for the entire day.
Everyone screamed and shouted as soon as you stepped through the door.
I don't think I've ever seen you so surprised in your life,
Not even when Nanna wrapped that scarf around your neck and almost killed you where you stood.
Will you be cold without it when November comes around?
Your big blue mug is here as well.
It still has the same chips and cracks on it,
And it hasn't moved or been used since you.
The smaller chips were there since the beginning,
Each having their own meaning or story of how they got there.
But the cracks and splits were established along the way,
Growing and appearing more frequently as our lives together started to come to a close.
I'm surprised it hasn't completely fallen apart.
Maybe I'll just throw it out the window.
Will the mug shatter like me, or stay stoic like you?
I know these are just the little things you've left,
Forgettable, replaceable things.
But do you see the things you have taken with you,
And think of them the way that I do?
Do you think about the times,
The way I do?
Do you not look at your CD collection and think about it all?
Or think about us at all?
All the times I poked fun at you for still having CDs in the first place,
And you telling me that "online music just doesn't do it the same,"
And I would just giggle at your ferocious love for those shiny disks.
The late-night car rides to who knows where,
Listening to them,
Shimmying and fist-bumping in our limited space,
Like we were the only ones in the world,
Singing our hearts out to the cheesy, heartfelt pop songs.
The songs that we will never listen to together ever again.
Maybe you don't look at these things like me,
And maybe that's where we fell apart.
So yes, you can have your notebook back.
And yes, I know which one it is.
The yellow one, on the shelf,
Resting underneath our first photo together.
You left that here, too.