Today I took the Metro-North for the first time since last August into Grand Central. In August, George and I took the train to Fairfield, CT to visit a friend and celebrate her son’s second birthday. It’s not unusual for me to ride the Metro-North trains alone. In fact it was a staple in our relationship for 3 years. I worked at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT and George lived in Brooklyn and worked in midtown. So on weekends when I had the day off from lacrosse, I would catch the train and head to Grand Central to see my beloved.
Grand Central represented a very romantic place for us. On July 3rd, 2009 I first made the solo trip to NYC to see George. I remember how nervous I was to hang out with him for the weekend. Just a week before at our graduate school residency, he invited me to spend 4th of July in New York with him. George swears I was wearing sweats, but I know for a fact I was wearing Jeans that first trip in. I don’t remember what time the train got in, but I do remember it was in the evening. I stepped off the train and walked into the enormous concourse with the aqua vaulted ceilings with the clock tower in the middle. I scanned the room and caught George’s eyes as he walked toward me. He was so excited to see me and I was mousy and shy. He wrapped his arms around my shoulders and squeeze my shoulder blades together. I can hear his voice in my head as I type this. “Hi Julia! You came! I’m so happy you’re here.” We took the 6 train uptown and had out first real date at Dawat.
My life changed after that weekend. I fell in love with NYC, as George promised I would, and I quickly fell for him. And for 3 years, I would take the train into the city, and he would be standing there waiting for me to get off the train. Always grinning when we locked eyes.
Today was the first time I took the Metro-North train alone since he passed. I walked off the train, and immediately when I stepped into the concourse, I started scanning, hoping he would be there. Sometimes I like finding someone who resembles him a little bit, and it allows my heart to skip for a second. But as people were passing and bumping by me as I was standing there alone, I wished for a haunting to pass me by. But there wasn’t anyone there. No one to be my doppelganger George for a moment.
And then I collapsed; A place I associate the beginnings of my blossoming love with George is now a stampede of memories. Heart warming and lively memories that were so fun to reminisce about when he was alive, but are now mind-twisting, gut piercing tortured images that flash through my skull to remind me that he’s gone.
I want to be strong and alive, but I feel so broken inside. I don’t want to hurt anymore.