there is a postcard sitting in the corner of my vanity. when i get ready in the morning i feel my eyes drawn to it. for the past few weeks i have been trying to avoid letting my eyes drift to it.
because i still remember being in the little oregon grocery market when i found it. the whole place looked like a wooden house and i couldn't get over how cute it was. you were buying a beer and i was getting a vanilla coke to go with our picnic. you remembered how i love postcards and pointed me over to the wood wall filled with little plastic ledges holding brightly colored ones. i scanned them for a while with my hands on my hips until you came over to help me pick one out. that's when we both saw it down on the bottom. it looked like it was taken exactly from the same spot we had been sitting earlier. the spot on the dune where you found me sitting alone. tucked away from all the other beach dwellers. you sat beside me and wrapped your arm behind my back and whispered everything was going to be okay. that i'm going to be okay.
i smiled because i knew that it was the one. it was perfect. i placed it on the counter next to your pale ale and slipped it safely into my purse when we walked back to the car. you thought it would be a good idea to go back to that spot, our spot, and have our picnic there. i couldn't have been happier to agree.
the sea grass on the beach reminded me of a nicholas sparks movie and i pretended that just for the afternoon we were in one of them. i remember i kept smiling at you while you made my sandwich and how warm the sand felt between my toes; even though the air was cold enough to wear a jacket. i decided the sand was warm because it was our special spot and it didn't want us to leave. it was welcoming us. keeping my feet warm. keeping us warm.
i wanted to stay in the spot forever but the evening was coming up quick and we had to cross another state line before the night came to a rest. i can still feel the pain in my heart remembering the way it felt to take one last look at our secret spot. you promised me we would come back someday and stay at the cottages that bordered the beach. you promised more picnics and vanilla cokes. and even though i smiled i knew it wasn't true.
i wish i could fill out the postcard and send it to myself four months ago. warning me to protect my heart. cautioning that it will hurt like the two times before but this time... it will damn well crush me. but obviously i can't do that.
so for now the empty postcard sits in the corner of my vanity mirror. being a reminder of the amazing days i spent with you on the coast. and also a reminder of the painful days that followed us coming home.
but one day i will go back to our special spot and sit alone on the pale shore. i will drink a vanilla coke and sink my toes back into the warm sand. and i'll write a postcard to you. i'll tell you that i made it back, just like you promised. and that sadly, that is the only promise you ever kept to me. i'll tell you that even though the gray coast will always remind me of you and those amazing days we shared together, it doesn't hurt anymore. and that even though the words you whispered to me however many months or years before weren't true back then...they are true now.
because everything turned okay.
i am okay.
and you don't hurt me anymore.