I never believed you'd actually be gone.
I knew you were going, I had listened to your count down of days every day for the past 5 months, I'd seen you stress over the price of your plane tickect, I'd witnessed your eyes light up with stars when you realized it was only 3 weeks from now, 2 weeks from now, one week. I knew you were going to go. But I never thought you'd be.
In the month before you left, we both were so busy. You had things to do, friends to see, and so did I, but I guess I never made the effort when I could have spent time with you, because there was always tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, there was always the day after, and somehow we'd make it work, because we always did, we always made it work. But then when I invited you over to stay at my house like we'd been planning you shook your head, and told me for the first time ever I was too late. I was out of time. But I didn't believe it, and in anger that you chose something over me I let you go, when it was really me that had been putting you last all this time.
And then you were gone. But I didn't know.
I didn't know until I walked down those school hallways I used to walk with you and felt only air upon my palms.
I didn't know until I played my fiddle in the stairwell and looked up and didn't see you perched upon the stairs listening quietly.
I didn't know until I walked out of a classroom and couldn't find your smile waiting to be kissed by me.
I wasn't in denial that you would leave, I was in utter oblivion. I promised myself I'd make it better. I promised myself that when you returned in December I'd tell you I loved you and how sorry I was to have ever taken you for granted and how I would make everything better.
But you never came back.
Sure, your body did, but you were no longer my sweet girl. You smoked cigarettes and spoke in riddles and rarely cracked a smile. You had a ring on your finger that didn't belong to me.
The girl that was made of vanilla and sunshine was gone. And somehow, I knew it was all my fault.