The next time you see me, I will not be stopping by your table, waving at you from across the room or even acknowledging you with a nod. It is not that I am being rude, it is just that I was never given the courtesy of a goodbye when you left, so why should I give you a hello?
Understand that the next time you see me, I will remember how you drifted away, hoping I would take the hint and leave. I know you think you were being kind by cutting me off slowly rather than abruptly. But there was nothing kind or even nice about it. Instead, it was cold and insincere. It unmasked a huge, cowardly flaw in your character. The next time you see me, I will be grateful that I am not with someone who is that weak.
Unlike you, the next time you see me, I will be strong. As much as I once loved you, you shattered my heart. But like the Japanese art of kintsugi, in which the cracks of broken pottery are filled with gold to restore the piece, I mended and became stronger and more beautiful at all of my broken places.
The next time you see me, I will be living a valuable lesson: that relationships are about reciprocity, and you never got that. You only took love, you never gave it. I never really asked for much in the first place just for you to love me. But I was simply asking the wrong person. After I finally let go, I realized that I was holding on to nothing.
The next time you see me, I will be full of energy. I will not be tired anymore—tired from our worn-out relationship, tired of dealing with the uncertainty, tired of trying to figure out what was happening to us, if there was ever an “us” at all.
The next time you see me, I will be wearing the smile you never gave me. I started smiling again when I let myself heal and landed where I needed to be, with people I am meant to be with, and living the way I should be living. I smile all the time now.
The next time you see me, I will see you too, but from an unclouded view. I have stepped so far back from you now that I can see our relationship from a distance for what it really was, with the harsher details coming to light. What I see so clearly now taught me what I need and want in a relationship.
So the next time you see me, I will be with someone who truly loves me, who always lets me know it, who will never let me go or give up on me or the relationship, no matter what. Someone who is not just there for the easy parts, but there for the messy ones too. Someone who comes along only once in a lifetime.
The next time you see me, maybe you will not even recognize me. I will be more beautiful, more radiant, more joyous, more of everything wonderful. You will be attracted to me, but it will be too late. The next time you see me, I will be gone.