I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to write and tell you that I miss you. I still love you. I thought I could handle it. I was wrong.
I didn’t know how to put this into words. That’s why it took so long. I can hardly even formulate my thoughts about you; they are still just so drowned in the muddled confusion of not having you in my life.
After nine weeks away together, I figured a break would be okay. I could move back home and busy myself with work and trivial daily tasks, inevitably forgetting about you in the process. Instead, everyone keeps asking me about it. What happened? How was it? What’s your best memory? I can’t believe they expect me to answer questions like that so soon after we split.
When I do want to talk about you, nobody cares to listen. It’s driving me crazy. My parents actually tune me out now when I bring you up. Some people have said I’m strange for being so broken up about you. For missing you so deeply. That I’m overreacting. Those people don’t understand. And they can’t, unless they meet you too.
You gave me the most memorable summer of my young life. I was expecting a quick fling, not a lifelong romance cut short by the sheer necessity of a busy itinerary. See, other people that have been with you in the past said recovering would take years. I laughed. I’m stronger than that!
Yet here I am, two full months after we split, and I miss you more than anything in the world. I can hardly look at our old pictures anymore. I won’t. I can’t. But it’s all I want to do. I’ll never forget the people we met together, the places we went, the memories we made.
Remember when we went to Italy? Hiked the Cinque Terre? Well, my parents are there right now on vacation. They keep e-mailing me about it. They know we went there. They must know how painful it is to see their pictures and have all my own memories flood back into my skull like a brutal, Ouzo-induced hangover.
Kind of like the hangover I had the morning after we left Istanbul. Do you remember that? What a crazy night. How about Croatia? The walls, the cliffs, the roofs…I thought it was the most beautiful place on Earth. You liked it too, but forced me to leave with you after only three short days.
Can’t we just go back? Me, you and all our friends? Let’s just get out on the water and sail, for old time’s sake. I know I sound desperate. I’m sorry. All sorts of crazy ideas start to populate up in this one-track brain when you are on my mind every second of every day.
You know, I’ve met up with some of your other former flings. They all got a taste at some point. I went to impromptu support groups. Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Cruz. All these little local groups who have been burned just like me. I’m going to Colorado next year for a bigger convention. We’re all a little ticked that you’re gone.
But instead of being angry, we all end up just talking about you. How great you are. Were. We all want to go back. Just take me back to the villa in Mykonos. Where I realized I would love you forever. And how much I would hate you when you left. You have that kind of effect on people.
Oh, who am I kidding? I can’t be mad. You gave me the best 66 days of my life, and then moved on. So, Semester at Sea, I don’t think I will ever quite get over you. Hopefully I will see you again some day, but until then, thank you for the remarkable memories. Thank you for all the unbelievable places we traveled together, the incredible experiences and the lifelong friendships you helped me form.
Thank you for inspiring me. And for changing my life forever. I will never forget you.
Jeremy Dorn, Summer 2011
P.S. – I still listen to our song all the time. And it’s not making things any easier.