I shall never again, take for granted a kiss, a hug, a smile or a friend. A family member who calls too much or a lover whose texts are never enough. For all of the above is what I miss the most, in this time of distance where being close is so 2019. Such a thing of the past, a cherished memory which didn’t seem so important at the time; touching hands, dancing in a bar, hugging to say goodbye. Simple things, things that happened on auto pilot are now luxury goods, cherished actions yearned for from within the confinement that is the four walls of home.

It feels like a tickle at the back of my throat. Not an ache or a pain, for I know that we’ll meet again. That’s what the Queen said anyway. No, this is more like a niggle, a feeling that something isn’t quite right, that perhaps I’m a little less without you by my side. Sure, I’m enjoying the space to reflect, to sit with myself and look within. But, I’d be lying if I said that missing you wasn’t making the pill that much harder to swallow.

I do miss you.

I try not to think about it, for I cannot change it, we’re saving lives, our sacrifice a small price for those on the front line. For those to whom this invisible enemy is not just a hinderance to personal contact but, an enemy that causes loss of life.

But on the days where my mind wonders beyond the home, I can’t help but think of those that I miss. Deeply miss. That I forgot to cherish whilst I had the chance.

I miss you. The way that you like to fill the air, with chatter that amounts to nothing at all. The way that you sit just a little too close, on the sofa when we slump to watch a film or a drama where someone get’s murdered or has an affair. I miss the way that you do too much, before I’ve even asked, the washing up, making my bed or cooking breakfast so that the smell lures me from my slumber. How you type a text using only your first finger, never your thumb. I miss the way you see the world, for all that is good, the silver lining highlighting everything that passes your lips. I miss the way you make me feel; safe, warm and full of love.

I miss you. The way we laugh at nothing at all. How our minds work to a similar beat, constantly saying things in sync. I miss dancing in the kitchen whilst supper bubbles on the stove, intermittently disturbed by a debate about this or that. I miss trying on your clothes that never fit. I miss making bad choices and telling you all about them, for once I have, the choices don’t seem so bad.

I miss you. Yes, I know that our relationship stretched only to work, an environment that I spent most of my time complaining about. But now? I miss the quirks of a day filled with meeting the status quo. I miss the 9 to 5 and the 4-o -clock sigh. I miss coffee breaks and distractions centred around gossip and fluff, our only purpose to help the minutes melt away at a much quicker pace.

I miss you. I miss popping in unannounced. I miss the sound of the kettle boiling and a tin of biscuits opening in the kitchen. I miss the sound of Antiques road show, Eggheads or The Chase, always buzzing in the background, never turned off just in case. I miss the comfort of mundane confabulation, hearing all about what Sue’s daughter’s boyfriend did to end up with a broken leg.

I miss you. I miss the recklessness, the rule breaking, the risk taking. I miss the thoughtless tattoos and the wild nights that end when the sun has returned to the sky. I miss the humour, the silliness found at our own expense. The energy created when we blow off steam, when we dance like nobody is watching, and we float into dreams. I miss laughing until I can’t catch my breath, the feeling of 50 crunches in one rubbish joke.

I miss you. I miss leaning against your solid structure as I gaze at the other punters. I miss how my feet stick to the floor, how the music is loud and I can’t hear myself talk. I miss the question ‘What can I get for you’ and I miss the look that I get when I refuse a straw or ask for more lime. I miss being chatted up by a man who I find irritating before he’s even opened his mouth, never the good looking guy in the corner, but his mate who loves to punch above his weight.

I miss you. Bad decisions. For a moment I thought to be rid of you was a road best taken, yet now I see how important you are. You are opportunity. You are moments presented at the flash of light, decisions made with no regard for rational thought or consequence. You are my best memories and my greatest lessons. You are one-night stands, snogging on dance floors and forbidden fruit. You are awful outfit choices, block fringes and blue eyeshadow. You are the steppingstones to who I am today.

I miss you. My second half. I miss the familiarity of your voice, singing in the shower and the sisterhood power. I miss your frankness, enlightening me on subjects that others would not dare mention, love your only intention. I miss your face and the rambling chatter, thoughts of the future and discussions of the karma sutra.

I miss you. Yes, you. I know our encounters are brief and scarce, though more often when heartbreak calls or laziness flares. We don’t say much but you’re always there, with stacked shelves and a smile which says ‘I won’t judge.’ No matter the amount of chocolate I purchase or wine I present, you just ring it though and ask how my day went.

I miss you. Fuck, I miss you. Not that I was with you much before, a rare occurrence, a sacred treat. But I miss you now like never before, because now you’re positioned out of reach. A delicious top shelf delight. I think about you at least once a day, the sensation, the intimacy, the heat.

I miss you. Even though I hate you. God, I hate you. I hate the way you shed no light, how the machines are positioned so close together and how awful the air conditioning is on days I need it most. I hate the weight section and how it’s geared toward weight savvy men. I hate the mirrors and how they are not as flattering as the mirror I have at home. I hate personal trainers that ask if I need help and I hate to sweat, yet here I am, missing you.

I miss you. For it is you that I took most for granted. I never appreciated how much of you I had, at my fingertips, what a privilege. You fuelled my decisions, my movements and my choices. Such privilege, taken for granted and thrown away. I miss you freedom, the movement, impulse and control. Never ever to be taken for granted ever again.

I miss the tube. I miss making plans. I miss booking things in advance. I miss a full diary. I miss impulsive decisions. I miss red wine fuelled chats and lunches that turned into dinners turned into dancing turned into not sleeping. I miss touching clothes before I buy them. I miss leaving the house just because I can. I miss oat milk lattes with a leaf etched on the top. I miss touch, even being nudged by someone in a rush. I miss classes filled with sweaty betty wearing yummy-mummies. I miss the girls bathroom of a club. I miss eating out and ordering too much. I miss aeroplanes and crowded places that I hated before. I miss bumble dates and deciding to go home alone. I miss choices. I miss Tesco without arrows on the floor and a one way system. I miss being able to cough freely, loudly, proudly.

Though what I am learning, is that it is only through missing you that I truly appreciate you. Absence surely does make the heart grow fonder and in losing you I have gained a new perspective. A new lease of life to cherish you, nourish you, to truly treasure you. Never again will I neglect you, expect you, demand you or allow my mind to wander. When I next see you, I will really see you. Not like before, because now I know how easily you can be taken away, and how rotten my word is without you in it.

Though I miss you I know, that we will meet again, some sunny day.

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