There were just too many things to say. Too many laughs to share and too many glances to be had.
As those hours turned into weeks and the weeks into months, something surprising started to happen. I began to feel again. Parts of me that had been numb for so long started to slowly come alive. With every kind gesture and delicate touch, my feelings grew and grew. And then one day, on a day no different than any other day, I realized you had completely won my heart.
I still remember the night we made love with the sound of the ocean all around us. Every part of me screamed to tell you I loved you but I wasn't ready.
I regret that I waited so long.
I also regret that I didn't always show how much I cared. That you ever, even for a moment, were unsure of how I felt. I was just so scared. Scared of what it meant to open myself up again. Scared of the past repeating itself. Scared of the future. Most of all I was scared you would leave.
And that's exactly what happened.
I don't blame you for leaving. You never loved me as much as you hated the situation you were in. And when an opportunity came to change the situation, you took it. I understand. I probably would have done the same thing.
I could never find the right things to say in the weeks before your departure. All I had were the shattered pieces of all my hope and love. The lingering sensation of all the things I thought I would have the time to say. The insecurities of how maybe I could have been more. More loving. More caring. More beautiful.
But I can't live in the shadow of those fears. Too many times I've broken myself down and tried to rearrange the pieces only to find myself bruised but ultimately unchanged. So I'm learning how to not do that. I'm trying to remember that kisses aren't contracts and things don't have to last forever to be perfect. I don't want to devalue the love we created with pity and despair. And as much as it hurts now to consider it, I also need to accept that maybe we weren't meant to last.
I'm looking for a love that won't leave. I want to be someone's favorite hiding place. And if that's selfish of me, then so be it.
Lately I’ve been thinking about who I want to love, and how I want to love, and why I want to love the way I want to love, and what I need to learn to love that way, and who I need to become to become the kind of love I want to be…….and when I break it all down, when I whittle it into a single breath, it essentially comes out like this: Before I die, I want to be somebody’s favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they know they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe. I will keep it safe.
You made your choice. I need to make mine. And as much as it hurts, I'm choosing to let go. If I've learned anything in life it's that pretending you're okay is often the first step in really being okay. So I'm going to pretend tears aren't always close to the surface. That sometimes I feel like I can't breathe and my heart is breaking. And I know that one day I'll be surprised to find that I don't have to pretend anymore. I'll really be okay.
And that breaks my heart just a little bit more.
I don't know if this is a love letter or a long goodbye. Maybe it's a letter of thanks. Thank you for reminding me that I can care so deeply about someone. Thank you for loving me and putting up with my snoring and my tendency to rant. I love you.
I wish you didn't have to go.