The Parking Lot

Essay

I found myself trying to get into your old parking lot last night. I swore to myself I would never go back, but I did. As I drove to the entry gate the sign on the button said, “Out of Order”.

“No shit.” I stammered to myself as I backed up and drove around to the 2-hour street parking.

As I climbed out of my car old habits came back to me. I began to scan the parking lot for your yellow truck, even though I knew it wouldn’t be there. I almost got out my phone to call you and say I’m here, even though I knew you wouldn’t pick up. I wanted to start walking up the back alley to those steep stairs that led to your loft, even though I knew you wouldn’t be there. So instead, I walked past everything as if I had never seen it before.

But we met in that parking lot. We had our first kiss in that parking lot. We walked hand in hand for the first time in that parking lot. You took my dog for walks around that parking lot. We watched a fire truck try to rescue stuck people in a parking garage elevator in that parking lot. You danced with me while we waited for an Uber in that parking lot. You were generous to strangers and let them use your code to exit and enter that parking lot. You listened to me sing off key in your car in that parking lot. And you walked me to my car each morning, gave me a kiss, and told me to have a great day at work in that parking lot.

But I also have to remember the nights I walked myself back to my car in that parking lot. Or the night I ran out of your place after a fight and waited for you to come find me in that parking lot. And those nights I would come over but sit and debate with myself if I should actually get out of my car or just leave that parking lot. Because now that I’m walking down memory lane I can only think of a handful of times I saw that parking lot in the daylight.

So when I saw that the sign said “Out of Order”, I knew it was over. It was an actual sign telling me that our time was up and I couldn’t go back even though a part me still thinks about it every day.

My Note to Her

Essay

There is no good way to start this, so here goes nothing. I’m not even sure if you know who I am. I hope you know I exist but if you don’t I’m sorry. I’m sorry I ever hated you. I’m sorry I thought you were the terrible person this whole time. And I’m sorry you’re dealing with the same pain as me right now.

I’m going to be as honest as possible. You knew him a few months before I knew him. You were his someone during one of his dark times of transition. You seemed to have really liked each others company but then I came along, and I swear I knew nothing about you. Well, I take that back because I knew of you only on his social media account. I didn’t think anything of you because, for some strange reason, I trusted him. That was my fault. I should have known he was hiding someone from me.

He must have known I was falling quickly so he left one weekend to go see you without my knowledge. He told me later that you invited him up there so I initially blamed you for his misbehavior. But I blinded myself from your name constantly popping up on his phone. I blinded myself from the pictures you took together that weekend and a few weekends after, that I knew nothing about until much later. I wanted to be his someone but now I know I was just a silly distraction.

I was dumb and naive to think that you were just a friend of his. Honestly, so was I. The part that hurts the most was seeing that you had a daughter. I couldn’t imagine letting him meet another part of me that was more important than myself. But you let him into her life for a short time and for that you’re brave. I thought him meeting my dog and taking care of him was a big deal. But that’s just another part of this sad story where I’m wrong.

Can I tell you something embarrassing? I was beyond thrilled when he didn’t like your pictures on Facebook during our brief exclusive phase. Can I tell you something even more embarrassing? I cried on my kitchen floor one night all by myself after I came back from his place. I cried because he had just liked a picture of you and your daughter from that day. He must have thought about you a lot. He must have cared for you deeply. But I was never cared for by him in that way, and for that I hated you. After he left me I realized it was never your fault.

He left me because of reasons I’m still trying to sort out in my head. Reasons that I’d like for him to explain but I know I’ll never get the closure I so desperately want. When he was gone I was beyond upset. More than anything though, I wanted to know if he was still talking to you. I wanted to know if he was gone because he was finally ready to commit himself to one person; maybe he was ready for you. I checked your social media to see if pictures of him would pop up, but they never did. He continued to like your pictures though, which confused the hell out of me. I’m sure it did the same, if not worse, to you.

But then it all stopped. His name was nowhere to be found on your Facebook likes and I wondered for days what had happened. Then, without warning, we both came to realize he had moved on without us. He had found his new someone that would carry him through another dark time and be his saving grace. This girl got to meet his whole entire family only after two months of dating. This girl became his best friend, his leading lady, and we were just the supporting characters.

Unfortunately, when you’re a supporting character you don’t necessarily get the recognition you deserve. Most supporting characters share a commonality throughout a story. Our commonality being him. We shared the same boy for a little less than a year. We shared the same burden digging into our shoulders day after day. And now we share the same unfair treatment by this boy who refuses to admit what he’s done to us. I’d like to think we’re one in the same, but then again I could be wrong.

I had a dream about you a couple of months back. I hope that isn’t too weird to say. It was during the storm of emotions I felt every day I saw a new picture of them together. I dreamt that I was the one to come up and visit you this time. Like most girls do, we sat and chatted about boys. I don’t remember the conversation per se, but I do remember getting a feeling of relief after we were done talking. The problem here is that I don’t see you as a friend. I don’t even see you as an acquaintance. But now more than ever I feel like we should be friends because we share the same pain. We could fill in gaps of our stories that never made sense. But if you don’t know who I am, I’m sorry. I’m sorry if I never share this letter with you.