He’s still got the T-shirt. It’s not just one I bought for him, it’s one I made. It’s one I poured my heart into and thought about late at night. It’s one I got his opinion on time and time again till he was too frustrated to listen to me talk about it again. It’s the one that I wanted to make sure was extra soft so when I leaned my cheek against his shoulder it’d be comfy.
He’s still got the T-shirt and he still wears it. I know because I saw him in it. I saw him eight months after the last time from far away, wearing that design I worked on. The design that is a piece of my heart. He still wears a piece of my heart. And the truth is, I just wish he’d have burned that shirt or had given it away. Maybe then it wouldn’t sting so bad when I see other people wearing it.
I wonder if his new girlfriend asks about it. I wonder when she leans her cheek against his shoulder and thinks about how soft it is, that she wonders where he got it. She wonders if he bought it himself or if his mom got it for him. I wonder if he would even tell her the truth if she did ask about it. Because how someone got a T-shirt usually isn’t as interesting of a story as that one.
I wonder if he wears it and wonders about the girl he left behind. The girl who made him stay up so late sometimes just talking about nothing. Or if he thinks about the times I’d pull that T-shirt over his head before going to bed. I wonder if he misses the weight of me next to him or if the new girl fills that role just perfectly.
I wonder if he sleeps in it sometimes. If he dreams in it or absentmindedly runs his hands over the soft material while thinking about the future. I wonder if he still tells people it’s his favorite shirt if they ask and if he’d tell them where they could get one too if they wanted. I wonder if in some way he’d still support my dreams even if he can’t be a part of them.
It’s just a piece of fabric but that material could tell so many stories. The day that he left he was wearing the exact same shirt. That shirt is covered in memories; good and bad. Mostly bad. But it’s still coated with us and with who we were. He may have only physically taken that shirt with him when he left but he actually took so much more. So, when I look at the shirt that I have that matches his, instead of folding it up and putting at the back of my dresser, I toss it out.
If I was a destination, then he got the tourist merchandise and displays it proudly. I wonder if he thinks it’s a trophy or if he longs for the nostalgia of it. Or if it’s just a piece of clothing in his rotation that was clean while all the others are in the laundry. Either way, he’s been there, and he’s got the T-shirt to prove it.