Remove yourself, physically. Change time zones and continents or lock yourself away in your bedroom or do anything that will limit your contact with the person you usually pass hours, days, weeks with. Do it because you have to, because today you need to see something new or today you need to see no one. Isolate yourself until you’re lonely and not just alone, until you can’t stand to stay away any longer, until you begin to wonder why you holed up in this jail cell in the first place. Everything, everywhere will feel like a jail cell.
Or remove yourself, mentally. Challenge the distance between your two minds; pick an empty argument so that its frayed resolution can loom in the void you’ve created. Harp on the memory of particular days, days that seem ancient now, days you spent together like that Indian summer when you took an hours-long drive and the people and things inside of the car glowed like trophies trapped in a permanent golden hour. Remember the things you said to each other on that car ride, remember the night that followed it and miss that person. Where did that person go?
Take inventory of your life and note what’s gone missing. The easy company. The long talks. The unblinking, all-knowing eye contact. These are things you now know exist but had never taken special notice of before. Now they’re showing up to take you to task, to make you acknowledge how rare it is to find them in someone else. Here they are, these objects of joy, obvious as ever now that they’re out of reach, now that they’re being withheld.
Try to regain what you’ve lost but have trouble expressing yourself. Choose all the wrong words; speak your own limited language. You’ll mean to say, “I’m keeping busy,“ or “How was your day?” or “I’ve been reading this fantastic book you’d like; you should borrow it,” but all of the sentiments just spill out of your mouth as “I miss you.” Every gap in conversation caulked with “I miss you.” You’ll momentarily question where all of your other thoughts went, you had them five minutes ago but these three words are all you can manage to articulate.
Miss someone until they come back, or until you come back, until their absence in your life becomes something to be avoided at all costs. Miss them until you don’t have to anymore, until you’re reunited in your favorite booth in your favorite restaurant ordering your favorite meal, miss them until it feels like you never left. Or miss them until you can’t anymore, until the things you miss are identified and cataloged as things and not a person, until you figure out that easy company and long talks and unblinking, all-knowing eye contact will find you again the way they found you the first time. Miss someone until you don’t.