history is all you left me

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera is a story about love and loss. The love that wildly bloomed between two best friends and both the physical and intangible loss of love.

After coming out to one another and professing their love for each other, Griffin and Theo embark on the journey of navigating a romantic relationship; all the while reassuring the third friend in the friend group that nothing would get in the way of their friendship. That is until Griffin and Theo break up. Theo goes to California for university and before Griffin can lose control, he ends things with Theo. This is not a spoiler, but Theo dies. 

The book changes between past and present. Griffin is putting together the pieces of his past with Theo whilst in the present, he is struggling to understand how Theo could have moved on so quickly in California and how Theo could have died without keeping his promise to Griffin. The promise to never die, at least not before they got back together. 

Griffin is desperate to know more about the life Theo lived without him in California. He wants to protect what he once had with Theo, and though they promised each other they were their endgame, Griffin's world quickly crumbles when he learns new pieces of Theo's past with Jackson. The boyfriend from California. 

Though the book started off slow, it's essentially Griffin's diary. His recollection of events and his journey towards self-love and letting go. Griffin tries to protect his past relationship with Theo from Jackson. He avoids talking to him about what they did together only to find out that Theo shared one of the most intimate forms of affection with Jackson. Something Griffin taught to Theo; something he used to feel close to him.

"He doesn't know that I know all of this. 

You taught him something personal to me. You taught him a routine I had with my parents as a kid. You taught him something I never thought I would share with anyone else until you came along. You taught him a kiss I personally created for us when I grew up needing a fourth."

My heart shattered into a million tiny pieces reading that whole interaction between Jackson and Griffin. I felt the betrayal and the utter oblivion of Jackson. I felt the deception, the hurt. To know that someone you once loved dearly took something you had with them and recycled it like it could easily be transferable to a new relationship. 

Not only did it feel unfair to Griffin, it felt unfair to Jackson. Theo couldn't be original enough to create something precious between him and Jackson? Did he not value Jackson enough to make him worthy of something never before experienced with someone else? That is when I started to view Theo as someone who should be left as history. Someone who Griffin built up to be his world, but turned out to be ordinary and flawed and maybe not worthy of Griffin's future.

It hit a little closer to home having recently seen someone I was in a previous relationship take something personal to me, to us, and transfer it to his current relationship. Sure, he doesn't owe me anything. And no this isn't me being bitter. In my eyes, the relationship ended when it needed to and it there wasn't a huge fallout. But to take a personal gift, a gift that symbolized my admiration of a monumental accomplishment in his life... well, it felt almost like a slap on the face. I won't go into detail about the recycled playlist too. Maybe I'm reading too much into it and he doesn't see it that way or maybe I'm making stuff up in my head. That's what so dangerous about history, you remember it and interpret it one way and other people may translate it completely differently. 

Nevertheless, I'm sure Griffin felt the confusion and betrayal when Jackson explained the kiss Theo so intimately shared with him. A recycled gift. It just makes you wonder, how much of the relationship was recycled and reused? 

I would never want to make the person I am with feel less than or think that at one point all the things we've done were done with someone else first. Relationships are not meant to be recycled; new relationships should be new and worthy of their own puzzle.  

"[...] I'll start dating someone else and while I'm piecing together that new puzzle, that new story, I'll find myself reaching for you-shaped pieces. This might be okay for two or four or six or eight pieces, but anything more than that, and I'll be left with a puzzle that has half your face, half someone else's. That's not fair to the guy who's expecting me to give him my all the way I did with you."

You can't go back and change history, but you can take it for what it is. You can move forward with what you have without letting history affect you. Because in the end, history is history and some people don't make it into your future for a reason. 


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