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Once upon a time, I met a different version of you.
A person so new to me, someone who I couldn’t wait to learn about. You filled me with curiosity, hope, and all things good.
I laughed and had the time of my life falling in love with you. You were what had been missing in my life. I cherished each moment we shared. I longed for you when we were apart. My heart became yours.
Minutes to hours, hours to days, days to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years—all these precious moments of my life I give to you. I love you with all I am. I imagine a beautiful forever with you. We will live every day together. The beautiful days, the boring days, the awful days. It’ll be you and me. We will share the years, watching our children grow. Lines on our faces will start to appear from age, and I won’t care, and you won’t either.
My hopes and dreams start to minimize. I am attached, but you seem guarded. I give more and more of myself to you. This causes you to give me less and less. You start to push me away. Can I keep giving so much? Can I take such a risk with my heart? My heart is so big. It is pure and full of love for you.
We are on an unpaved road. The road is beautiful, unpredictable, bumpy, high, and low. You hurt me; I lash out in anger. We have parted ways more times than I’d like to remember but always find a path back to each other.
I become tired, and I can’t endure the journey anymore. My heart is worn, and we reach the end of the road. I tell you goodbye, block communication. You can’t reach me by phone, by text, by email, or by social media.
As time passes, I try to forget you, but my heart continues to ache for you. I try to date but still think of you. I throw myself into my daily routine in hopes of forgetting you.
I check the mail one ordinary day as I always do, and there I find a surprise—a letter, one that is handwritten to me. There is no return address, just my name. I curiously open the letter. Your words are raw and honest. I read all the things I had longed to hear from you for so long. The love you have for me, the future I dreamed we’d have together. I read the regret you feel.
I know you’re sad. I hate that you’re sad. I hate how it took anger, hurt, and heartache for you to see what you had. I want to give in, but I don’t trust you. I don’t trust myself.
How will this change? How will I change? Will I forgive you?
My heart and head go to war. I know I shouldn’t give in, but my heart wants to. I know you’re a good man with a good heart, but so much has happened. I want to believe your words. I want to trust you’ll follow through on your promises.
You tell me one final chance is all you need—you’ll show me you can love me the way my grandpa loved my grandma.
So I open my heart to you one more final time. I can’t live wondering what could have been. I need to see what could be, to bring myself peace.
Our lives become entangled with our children, our jobs, with everyday life. You move in. You come into my space, my home. I part with my belongings to make room for you. I give up my solitude for you. This makes me start to resent you.
As time goes on, I feel myself losing the wonder of you, the love for you. We are not two people woven from the same cloth. The differences that once brought us together now put miles between us.
I ask myself, how long will we do this dance? How long until it finally ends?
Once upon a time, when you were new, and I was filled with wonder, I dreamed of forever with you. But, unfortunately, this is not a fairy tale; it won’t end with a happily ever after.
I am scared there will be a bittersweet moment of clarity. I’ll see all the memories I’ve built with you. I’ll cherish the beauty of us and the life we created.
It pains me to think this will be our final moment—that this could be the moment we will end and no longer be, and I’ll return to just being me.
I’ll say goodbye one last time—and I once loved you, but I don’t anymore.