After leaving Marie’s and saying our “see you soon”, my plan was to go home. It was a little past midnight and I had work the following morning. Marie and I are only an exit away from each other, but I felt an impulse to continue driving. I was sad to leave my best friend, who had lifted my spirits for the weekend and distracted the negativity that was floating in my head. I was also really disappointed in him. I really thought he would come and get his things. How closed off can you be? These are your personal belongings we’re talking about. Are you afraid of the wrath of my best friend? You should be, but who really wants anymore drama? This was your day off and you spent it having fun and enjoying yourself. Your person took you out just like mine did. I get it. I focused on driving and realized I missed my exit. I kept going with no intentions of turning around. I knew exactly where I was headed.
I hadn’t driven through the city that late in a while. There is something beautiful about driving towards the city late at night. It’s like a ghost town: deserted, quiet, and beautiful. It was an easy drive with hardly any traffic. When I arrived at the palace, my heart skipped a beat. It felt like ages since I had been there. When you are “in hiding” and don’t want to leave your house, it almost feels like you’ve missed out on so much. Honestly, I had no problem with that. It’s not like I wanted to be out and about anyway. I have no desire for it still and I’m working on that. My anxiety quickly takes over with thoughts of running into anyone I might know. Even though Marie has dismissed those negative thoughts, it’s still something I think about consistently. Having to do things alone is a challenge due to my anxiety. I get extremely nervous, and at times I’ve found myself starting to shake and not being able to breathe correctly… Surprisingly I found parking right in front of the palace (this never happens) and I turned off the car and played my Spotify playlist named after this blog. I didn’t cry. My eyes were locked with the palace. This had been my favorite place for years. That changed when the two of us started coming here. It went from my place to our place. It was where he asked me to be his girlfriend, where we slowed danced under the dome in the rain on our one year anniversary, where he gave me my promise ring. I envisioned us getting engaged there, telling him I was pregnant with our child there, etc… It’s all I could think about and I took a big sigh and finally got out of the car. All the times we would go to the palace and walk around hand in hand, there were two swans swimming around in the water. I named them Jack and Sally (from The Nightmare before Christmas). What I didn’t know about a pair of swans is they mate for life (Thanks, BBC). However, the moment I stepped out of the car and stood in front of the place that held some of my most memorable moments, I saw Sally swim by, alone. Jack was nowhere in sight, or at least out of my view. It was somewhat ironic that something like that had occurred in that very moment. Is there some symbolism from that moment? Sure, but grief fell deep into my heart. I looked around for a few more minutes, taking in the cool air and light wind and the beautifully lit area that lay in front of me. I got back in my car, and drove home.
Yes, the palace will always have a special place in my heart. I will never stop going there, even if that means going alone, late at night. What was once our place has gone back to being my place, and that will never change. And yes, I will ALWAYS think of you when I go there.