And we both know hearts can change.”
I always knew we would say goodbye. I knew it the moment we met.
Our hearts collided and our souls aligned. Our desires went unbridled. You, the opposite of me. Me, drawn to you for that very reason. It was exciting and raw and real. Our magnetic attraction sent our blood rushing, racing, railing to the surface.
I sang sugary love songs in the shower, at the top of my lungs. You whistled while you worked, and there was a noticeable new spring in your step. I couldn’t wait to talk to you. You couldn’t wait to see my face. We acted like friends, but it was so much more than that. We were giddy and happy and wild and reckless.
It was a love supernova. A melding of creative energy. We validated, heard, and saw each other, top to bottom, all the way through.
Trust and honesty and tenderness grew. We felt excited just to be alive, and we lived for the sparks that flew every time we were together. On its best day, our love was perfect. We were fire rings and cotton candy clouds. We juggled everything. We teetered on a tightrope, and we took it right to the edge.
I didn’t hold back. I crashed into you, and you broke me.
Sparks are brilliant, yes, but they burn out quickly. We were a flashing blast, not meant to last.
And for a while, it was beautiful. If I could go back in time, to the early days, I would.
After, when things settled, and hope-killing conflict crept in, along with time, we tried like hell to hold on, but we couldn’t. And now we are nothing. Into ashes, into dust, we went. I played my Mazzy Star and wrote my weeping heart out. I faded to the periphery, while you retreated, stoically, to your Phish and your job.
I knew it would end this way. I knew it the day we quietly said hello, reserved, each of us treading water, lost inside our own personal, troublesome, maelstrom current. Each with our own problems to solve. We connected, and then we failed to connect.
That is the way it is with love sometimes, no?
But I miss my bird, my calling partner, my silent thinker, my smirking wordsmith champion, my biggest fan.
I miss our walks, our talks, our jokes. I miss your laughter because it was difficult to make you laugh genuinely. Oh, and your touch, the way you smiled at me, the way you checked me out when you thought I wasn’t looking, the way you called yourself introverted and told me, half-jokingly, to please stop having so many friends. I was the yin to your yang, but we very much yearned for the same things inside: love, peace, inspiration, a reason to be happy, and a little cabin in the woods where we could be free and alone and together.
We found each other, and then we fell apart. Forces were stacked, constraints were set upon, and choices needed to be made. And so we finally let go.
Saying goodbye means I must say goodbye to the pictures. One by one, I’ve deleted them from my phone. I’ve thrown away the silly, yellow trinket, the painting, the brass paperweight. I’ve stopped thinking about our plans for someday. Your scent, your sinewy arms, your neck, your mouth, and your cadence no longer govern my thoughts. Your beard is off paying attention to someone else. You are entertaining “presented opportunities,” and giving to others all the special parts you used to give to me.
Have I mentioned that I miss you?
The way you stood. You, next to me, how you dropped my hand in the woods like I was burning you, the way your eyes darted when you felt anxious. The way you let me lean in before gently pushing me away to create distance. The way we always knew, deep down, how wrong we were. I was addicted to every part of you, a little obsessed if I’m being honest, and you filled a void inside my soul that aches with emptiness now. It will remain empty, too, because you are the only one who will ever know how to fill it.
I grow angry, sad, deflated, defeated when I imagine you finding someone else to amuse, stimulate, and captivate you, someone else to occupy your time. Someone else to be your muse who will never be the kind of giving friend I once was. Someone who probably won’t tolerate your flashes of narcissism, your hurtful bluntness, your moods, and how often you choose to turn cold because it’s easier.
Someone who doesn’t understand you. Someone who is not me.
When I think of you flirting in your sexy, unassuming way, a wave of deep pain grips me from the inside. It doesn’t go away or grow weak until I force it out by making myself busy doing dumb things to pass time, like painting my stupid rocks, or mindlessly riding my bike, or complaining about the President.
We hurt each other. We carried our sensitivity and longing around like heavy bags of darkness while we licked our respective past wounds, the ones that never healed completely because that is the way it is with humans. Your heart was broken long before we met, and though mine was open, it was bare. We tried, but we weren’t meant to be anything more than a moment.
Yes, I’m sorry. But I’m not sorry for what we were on our best day, once upon a time.
You’re my person, and I want you still.
I’ll think about you, and I’ll lick this wound until the day I die.
But I always knew we’d say goodbye.