I think about him a lot.

I go on a date, or I have a disastrous experience with a member of the opposite sex, or I hear my friends talking about how in love they are with their significant other, and my mind wanders.

It was around this time last year that Devin and I started talking again.  I’m not naïve enough to think I was the only girl on his mind, nor am I foolish enough to think that his intentions were completely honorable.  This is not a means to speak ill of him.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  Devin and I had one of those relationships where we didn’t know what we wanted from one another, but we knew we wanted to be together – and talk to other people in case this fell through (which it always, always, always did).

But I think about him… all the time.  I think about where we’d be if he were still here, what we’d be doing if I hadn’t been so stubborn that day and just gone to see him like I wanted.  I was proud, though, and I knew in my heart of hearts that if I went to see him, I’d fall all over again.  He would be it for me, which wasn’t a bad idea; but I wasn’t ready to be someone’s forever.

But my goodness do I wish sometimes that he could have been mine.  I wish that it were his lips on mine again, and not someone else’s.  I wish it were him texting me a ‘sweet dreams’ or ‘good morning dear.’  I wish I could snuggle up with him and watch some obscure movie on Netflix and talk to him about my newest book idea.  My heart aches with this desire, this wish that will never come to fruition.

There’s a song that says “I never thought we’d have a last kiss.”  I listen to it a lot these days, thinking about how completely and utterly topsy-turvy my life has been since June, since I found out he was gone.  I never thought it would be the end of us.  I really thought that eventually we’d settle down, or at least make peace and stop messing with one another’s heads.  But I certainly never thought the last time was the last time, that I wouldn’t be able to call him one day, or kiss him again.

But alas, here I am, sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee and a tear-stained face, thinking about that day, about our conversation, and all the things we did and said.  How he kissed me, and I listened to Dashboard Confessional’s “Hands Down” on the way home and didn’t stop smiling for the next few weeks.  I’m thinking about how a few weeks after that we fought, and how a few months after that… he was gone.  I’m thinking about how all these events happened so slowly, and yet how it all seems like a whirlwind since I got the text from my friend that he was gone, how she eased me into it – asking about work and my book, and then, finally, reluctantly, telling me that the boy I loved was gone.

I know that he’s not going to magically appear and ask me to write my name on his “Hello, my name is…” tattoo on his chest.  I know he’s gone, and eventually I’m going to have to move on with my life and stop using him as my excuse for not getting back out there.  No one is ever going to measure up to him; but I can’t measure people to him for the rest of my life.  He wouldn’t want that (or maybe he would want me to just pine for him the rest of my life – it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility or the Devin I knew).  No one will ever measure up, because he was Devin and he was a force of nature all on his own.  I still remember how he kissed me on my 28th birthday as we stood under a big light in the parking lot of a bar in Martinsburg.  I remember how he asked me to go out after, and how I continually rebuffed him, and then one day decided it would be fun to edit my book while he watched a movie.  And I remember that that was the last time I kissed him, sitting in his room with my laptop in my lap, having just played him the song that inspired my book.

Maybe one day I’ll stop comparing the men in my life to him.  I’ll stop thinking about how he would have kissed me differently, or held my hand, or told me something else.  I’ll stop wondering what he would have said in a given situation.  Maybe one day I’ll get past this (though in the interest of full disclosure I am not confident in this statement).

But in the interim, maybe I’ll just sit here and contemplate the words to that song, and how completely appropriate they are for the boy I wish could be mine.