Right now, I want nothing more than to run into your arms, kiss you so hard and have your soft touch melt every ounce of my pain away.
I want to feel the bristles of your beard rub against my face, as you hold me in a tight, protective embrace.
I want us to laugh and talk for hours and cook dinner together, drinking spicy red wine, chopping up onions and garlic, and making hearty soup for the week ahead—like we always did.
If our fingertips could touch, if our hearts could beat side by side, then maybe everything would feel right in the world again. Maybe my tears would dissolve into smiles, my loneliness would become sweetness, and this goddamn anguish would become a gushing river of love.
How am I supposed to get on without you?
I stand alone, not knowing where to go—unable to figure anything out, unable to think straight. Every minute feels torturously long—strung of a thousand tears, a necklace of grief that swallows me up with sharp teeth.
As the clock slowly clicks on, minute by minute, second by second, as my heart beats—I’m certain that time is frozen, that I’m stuck in an icy palace of heartbreak where the breeze rips through my skin, re-plays our most precious memories and brings me to my knees.
As I pause briefly between the tears, I have this strange wish—I wish that our love was a book, and I could edit the ending, making it happier, less brutal and less messy.
I wish I could craft the words to be perfectly pleasing to our hearts, and make it an ending where we found a way to compromise without compromising ourselves—where we resolved all of our problems and curled up together, hand in hand, kissing, looking at each other with wild contentment sparkling in our eyes like fire.
Instead, the story of our love is finished. Wrapped up—done. And yet, something still feels painfully unfinished—
I always thought that a break-up immediately snips the thread that connects two hearts, but that’s not true.
The thread lingers—it burns, it stings, it pulls, it dances in the wind. Love forever leaves an imprint in our hearts. A residue of some kind. An echo in our bones. Memories racing, at full speed, through our minds.
Maybe our love will always feel unfinished.
And I won’t lie, I pray that we will find our way back to each other someday—I pray that maybe this road we’re taking is part of the path that will eventually lead us back together.
But high hopes can’t sustain me.
For now, our story is finished.
And deep in throes of this loss, in the midst of this swirling sea of grief—I know there is only one thing to do.
I have to keep living.
Start a new story—open a fresh, empty page and grab a pen—cry my eyes out and make something f*cking beautiful.
I have to live brilliantly—live artfully—live with my whole, broken heart, with every fiber of my being.
Even though all I want is curl up and hide under a hundred blankets, even though I miss you so much that the ghosts of our sweet memories fill up my bones and weigh me down like lead—
I have to keep living.
I have to keep sketching my story. Chasing my dreams—creating, exploring, learning, laughing. I have to keep prying open my heart and tasting each passing moment on my tongue.
I have to see that there is more to life than falling in love.
I have to live.
Maybe I will embrace loneliness and make art out of it. Maybe I will sprout wings and learn to fly from the ashes of this fierce pain.
Maybe I will listen to my heart’s wild calls and travel across the seas and see Bali, live in a sun-soaked town in California, write a book of poems and finally do all the awesome sh*t I’ve always said I wanted to do.
But right now, as the clock clicks slowly—as my heart beats, as my tears fall—all that hangs in the air, like a dense fog, is the fierce wish that we could have made this work. That it could have lasted a little longer.
What if we could have made it work?
As I blink—as more raining tears fall—I breathe slowly, surrounded by a cold swarm of fluttering what ifs.
But in a small moment of clarity, goosebumps cover my skin—a subtle softness enters into me, like a distant whisper.
And it’s so strange, but I can feel it in my bones—this was the right thing to do.
I love you, but I have to let you go.
We have to let each other go.
Our story is over. The final words have been written, the last drops of ink have been spilled, and the story-line is locked in place.
Hard as we tried, we couldn’t bridge the gaps between our differences.
And it hurts, my god, I know it hurts—
Because I love you.
But maybe as we say goodbye to each other, we will be saying hello to something beautiful. Maybe we will be saying hello to our dreams—to the paths our hearts were meant to take.
Maybe we have to see each other free
So we can both finally
Look life in the eye
Unfurl our wings
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Drew Osumi