It has been a while since you left. I still feel lost.
Have you ever felt that familiar feeling of missing someone you were close to? Or maybe you lost a cherished item, insignificant to others but irreplaceable to you. The void, deep inside, the churning of the stomach . . .
It is normal to be attached to someone so much that we miss them the second they are out of our sight. Our brain gets used to what we see, sending a deep feeling of longing to the heart. It is okay too if we get attached to an animal, a plant, or a material thing. It is okay to miss the touch, the sight, and the sound. The happiness that they bring us makes us feel alive, but the moment they are gone, we feel empty and lonely.
I am familiar to the feeling of loss. Whether it is because of someone dear passing away, or moving to a new country, I have felt different levels of pain. But missing someone I do not know or something that did not belong to me, took me by surprise. How could I get attached to something that I was not physically close to?
“Nothing makes a room feel emptier than wanting someone in it.” – Calla Quinn
Two years ago, I moved to a cul-de-sac, in a quiet, safe part of the suburbs. Nothing out of the ordinary from this insular enclosure – a row of red brick houses, unfenced front garden, set away from the main traffic. But out of the dull setting, something caught my eye. A white Cabriolet stood out among all the black and greys.
It took my breath away. In an instant, I fell in love. I had no idea whom the soft top convertible belonged to. I was attracted by with its red leather seats and sparkling bonnet. I fantasised about taking it for a spin – cruising along open country roads. It became my timekeeper. The purring of its 2.0 TFSI engine woke me in the morning and the unusual headlights shining bright reminded me it was time for dinner.
“I am crying over the loss of something I never had. How ridiculous. Mourning something that never was – my dashed hopes, my dashed dreams, and my soured expectations.” – E. L. James
Then one day the spot was empty. At first, I thought the owner was away on business, but several days later, still no car. Over the days I caught myself standing by the window waiting for its return. I became disoriented – no longer grounded. Weekdays blended into weekends. Gradually I discovered that the empty space was causing an emotional gaping hole in my soul – an outcome that baffled me. I had lost something that I relied on; something that did not belong to me.
I realised that the loss had triggered some real issues. I had repressed emotions that I kept buried. I went through the process of mourning. I knew it would take time, as everyone has their own timeline to process grief and loss. But still, it felt silly to grieve for a car that was not even mine. In time I would heal.
“When I close my eyes, I miss you. When I open my eyes, I miss you.”
As I lean against my window in complete darkness, my eyes are automatically drawn to the familiar spot. Where once the object of my love stood out, now an unremarkable 5-seater grey minivan is parked in its place. Lockdown will soon be over and normal life will resume. But I know, in my heart, it will never be the same.
I miss you my little Cabriolet.