Facebook Enables Me
Shared by our Featured Writer, Katie Wilhelm.
I typed your name into the search bar today. Even though I swore that I wouldn’t do that anymore. I told myself that it only hurts me to see your profile. It only sets me back to see your name. It only cuts me like a knife to see your world without me in it. But I couldn’t help myself; I needed to see your face today. I’m like an addict and trying to relive our love is my drug.
Facebook asked me to do it. It told me to search for people, places or things. So I did. I searched for the person, place or thing that is most familiar to me. I typed the first two letters of your name, two very familiar letters to me. Letters that I use to write on my laptop and in my notebooks during class, subconsciously. It only took those two letters for your name to pop up; I think Facebook knows that I’m about to self-medicate.
Facebook is enabling me.
Your name transports me to a different world. It lifts me like a gust of wind and takes me to an awful and wonderful place all at the same time. Your name makes me feel delightful and it makes me feel terrible. I pronounce your name to myself, letting the syllable dance off of my tongue like it use to so freely, remembering the tone of my voice when I said it, remembering the way your name sounded paired next to mine, and how much I loved the way it flowed together in a sentence.
What’s in a name Shakespeare asked? So many things. Pain, joy, flashbacks, pet names, diamonds, family, intimacy, love; everything that came flooding back to me at the sight of your name.
Your picture pops up; it’s one that I’ve never seen before. I don’t know where it was taken or who was the one to capture the moment. I don’t recognize the shirt you’re wearing. But I know that face all too well. That smile.
The months have subtly aged you. Your face looks more mature. You look older now, which is strange because it hasn’t even been a year since I last saw you. It’s funny how many details you notice about someone that you used to be in love with. I remember your face when we were so little. Sometimes I like to think about us when we were five, and how I went to your birthday party; how we had no idea that we’d be so crazy about each other one day. I like thinking about this time because the good times were still to come. It was the future rather than a past, like it is now.
I scroll down your page, noticing your recent activity. You’ve become friends with a bunch of new people, people of the opposite gender. Names that I don’t recognize. I don’t click on any of them though. I can’t do that to myself. I don’t trust where my mind will take me. I wonder what they think of you and what you think of them.
But no matter what role those people end up playing in your life, they will never hold the place in your heart that I hold. Because even though your heart is not mine to keep forever, I do get to keep a small part of it. A really special part. The part that has all the firsts. The overwhelming, intensity of first love: that part of your heart is mine. Birthday parties, baseball games, prom pictures: there’s no way to undo those memories. I will be a special part of your life forever. That makes me feel a little better.
I click the little Facebook logo to the left of your name and it takes back to my homepage, where I see names of people whom I haven’t spoken to since high school, names of people whom I don’t really care about.
I care about you though and I think I always will. It’s impossible to undo the past. And what we had was so fucking amazing at one point, that I’ll never stop wanting to know about your life.
You know, I wonder if you ever look at my pictures I wonder if my face transports you back to a different place as well. I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t.
I don’t think I’ll visit your Facebook page again any time soon. It just hurts. Maybe one day it won’t, maybe one day I’ll look back and roll my eyes at your face, maybe one day I’ll delete you from my social media outlets completely. But for now, I need to keep you there. I’d rather you exist in my digital world, then not in my world at all.
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