To the Story I Thought I’d Left Behind for Good

Metaphors are a strange form of magic.

Three years ago, I walked away from you.

I closed the file. Took it off my desktop. Decided I couldn’t look at you anymore. Believed I’d gotten everything out of you that I could.

Believed I’d given you everything I was capable of giving for the rest of all eternity.

I thought I was better off without you, and that you were better off without me. Instead of taking our relationship somewhere I thought it could never thrive, I just let it die. Presumably for good.

I let you sit there. Alone. Abandoned. I let you wonder, for three years, if I was ever coming back.

At the time, I had no reason to return. I wasn’t in a good place — at least, not the right kind of place — to give you the care and attention you deserved. I needed to be on my own. To learn to live and thrive without you.

You were so good to me. But I couldn’t make it work.

Not then.

But maybe now.

Being apart from you gave me room to grow. And I assumed, for a long time, that meant I was growing beyond you. That what I had left behind couldn’t grow while I was gone.

I assumed wrong.

Because even though I walked away from the physical thing that was the book, that did not stop the story within it from maturing as I did. Though I wouldn’t admit it, it was always on my mind. I was always thinking about how things might be if I went back. If I tried again. What would I do differently? How would I make it better than it had been before?

For so long, I thought I just needed to give myself time to get over it.

But really, I needed time to prepare myself to return to it.

They say you shouldn’t do that, you know. Go back to a book you made a conscious choice to leave behind. You’re supposed to move on to other projects. Forget about the old ones. Challenge yourself as a creator, not keep going back to something old.

I knew the moment I opened you again that there was no turning back.

Something is different this time. I can feel it.

I’m not walking away again.

I’m going to finish this time. I’m going to make it count. I’m going to make it up to you. Make up for lost time.

I promise.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

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