“We were together. I forget the rest.” ~ Walt Whitman
You saw me when I was invisible—not just to the world, but even to myself.
There was something you recognized beneath the layers of hurt and false identities I had become lost in that called to you. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know who I was at the time, because somehow by seeing myself through your eyes I was able to awaken to the woman I was all along.
You made me smile from my soul for the first time, not because you expected anything in return from me, but simply because that was what came naturally for you. And it was in that moment I began to fall.
Although looking back, I now realize that even then I had no idea how long it would be until I arrived in a place where any of this meant anything.
In the beginning, we were chaos and fire.
We rubbed each other’s corners and seemed to trigger one another; it was almost as if what we were was all that was meant to be.
Yet, even then something tugged on my heart.
There was a reason that I never truly said goodbye to you, and now I can see why you came into my life in the first place.
When we find someone who, even as unlikely as it seems, is a part of us, then there isn’t any way to really leave them behind.
You burned me. You set fire to the life that I had become comfortable with. You held up a mirror and it hurt me to see what reflected back.
There was nothing about your presence that would let me stay sleeping in this life.
But, we played too many games for our own good. We danced in and out of intimacy and friendship, yet all along we were growing toward this and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t seen it coming.
You saw me; and perhaps the most bittersweet truth is that somehow I saw you before you even saw yourself.
And when we kissed that first time, I think I forgot my own name.
You touched me like I ached for someone to, and even when it wasn’t all I wanted, somehow it still ended up being enough.
I was okay with that. I was okay with your walls and I was satisfied knowing that what could grow between us might never actually be able to flower.
I accepted that because I only ever accepted you for who you were.
But things change, as they often do, and we both ended up finding our way back to a place we never thought we’d visit again. Yet we were different people this time. We had learned more and perhaps we had finally realized who we were.
The walls fell down, and what I saw on the other side was everything I could have ever wanted—but didn’t know existed.
And still, I let us dance, meander and even play with what was between us all the while we were only pretending that it was nothing special.
I was no longer scared of losing you because I figured that if you were still here in my life, then it was because of a reason that maybe I just wasn’t privy to yet, and so gradually and slowly I began to show you who I really am.
I did it in pieces and bits, all the while my heart racing, wondering if it would prove to be too much.
But it never was, the only thing that happened is that with each word, each conversation, I began to forget about anyone else that wasn’t you.
Through rambling midnight conversations about life and God, I suddenly realized that this was what I had needed all along, but I just never expected that not only could someone understand the inner workings of my mind, but that they would also be able to meet me there.
But you did, and it wasn’t because of the way you kissed me breathless that I began to love you, but because of the man that I saw when you simply became yourself.
The more you revealed, the more I wanted.
Even now, it’s a painful reality that hits me, bringing tears to my eyes—the belief that I could probably sit with you each evening, and never tire of hearing how you see the world.
It’s a knowing that no one else will ever be you.
At some point through our fantasies and passion, something changed, and although neither of us ever said anything about it, somewhere in between it all you had begun to make love to me.
It broke open my heart and crashed down any remaining reasons why in the end of all of this it shouldn’t be you. The reality is that even though the words of love have never passed your lips, no other man has ever made me feel more loved than you.
It’s interesting how that can occur, and maybe there’s a truth to what we feel rather than what we hear.
But in the end, you left.
Not really though, but just enough for me to feel your absence. Just enough for me to feel a pull on my soul when you’re not next to me, because whether I wanted it to feel that way or not, something about you being here with me always left me feeling more complete.
And now I don’t know what to do, because the reality is you’ve ruined me for anyone else.
If another man doesn’t talk about the universe, or kiss me like it comes as naturally as breathing, I’ll always think of you.
If he doesn’t make fun of me and the way I talk too much, or don’t wear shoes, I’ll always hear your voice doing just that.
And if he doesn’t ever truly see me, then I know that in the back of my mind I’ll always see you.
You are the one man who saw me when I was invisible and now the truth is you have simply ruined me for anyone else.
“What we want is someone to be naked with, not only in body but in soul.” ~ J. Iron Word
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Travis May