The truth is that I’m afraid to dive into someone new. How can I not be? I’m still emptying my lungs from the last time I fell into someone’s waters and explored the depths of them. It’ll be years before I’m done wringing the wetness out of my hair, before I stop smelling the salt of their oceans on my skin. Learning someone new is frightening now. It’s not the adventure it was before. I’m no longer bitter for my heartbreak. My reluctance isn’t a decision I made with a sour mouth. I’m just exhausted by the idea of feeling for someone new. Of treading water with small talk and stories about our childhoods. When I think of him, I am afraid of sinking so deeply into someone again that I am lost to them. In that, I realize I am most afraid that I won’t sink at all. That I’ll always be treading water with anyone that isn’t him. That anyone after him will only know how to meet me at the surface.
— pardis alia.