She said, "I moved here from Illinois a few years ago. I guess you could say I was running. I was with someone for five years and when it ended, I decided I had to leave. As soon as I got here, I got involved with this other guy, and for nearly four years I stuck it out. He never wanted to be my boyfriend and I never had him to myself. I had to block his number because I wasn't strong enough to ignore him. It's been two months. In some ways I'm proud of myself because we've never gone this long without talking. In other ways, I feel pathetic. I'm sure you don't know what that's like."
I've been running since May because it seems I'm surrounded by ghosts. For example, his coffee mug and the sunglasses he always borrowed. His allergy pills. My bedside table is basically a shrine to him and how it was. And I can't move those things. I can't bring myself to put the mug back in the kitchen cabinet, the pills in the medicine drawer. I can't face that he won't be back someday, sliding back into our routines like he never left them. Like he never left me. I couldn't even get away from him in my dreams up until recently. And I can't let go, I don't know how to stop reaching out to him and it feels that forgetting him would be the death of some part of me that I need. So I bury all these things in my darkest corners and depths, but they don't die. They linger and they make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and they wake me up in the middle of the night.
"No, I understand. More than you know."