The first time I ever texted you, I braced myself for the disappointment of not receiving a response. Because I know how it feels to anxiously await a response that never comes. I know how it feels to check your phone dozens of times per day only to be met with the disappointment of an empty inbox. I know how it feels to think of someone before falling asleep at night and then wake up to the sinking reality that they didn’t think about you in return.
A minute passed. Two minutes. Three minutes. 15 minutes.
But you replied.
On our first date, I worried about coming across as boring, standoffish or uncool. Because I know how it feels to be called boring. I know how it feels to have my shyness mistaken for a lack of caring. I know how it feels to be ridiculed and left out for not being as cool and charismatic as I always wished I was.
But despite me and my awkward glory, you didn’t want that night to end.
The first time I kissed you, I feared you would taste my brokenness and hear the whispers in my head that taunt my shortcomings and threaten to ruin every piece of goodness in my life. I feared the swinging of the pendulum and the downfall of the other shoe.
But I knew in my heart that you were dying to kiss me. I knew in my soul that you loved me long before you dared to say it.
The first time you felt disappointed in me, I swore it was the beginning of the end and that I’d never be capable of giving you the love you deserved. I cried. I sank to the ground. I let my past wash over me and my future fall behind me. I pressed my face to my hands and my knees to my chest.
But you spoke to me gently. You rubbed my back. You told me I was okay and we were okay. You said you were sorry, even though you didn’t need to.
Betrayal and abandonment is all I’ve ever known.
You don’t text me good morning as early as you normally do, and I feel betrayed. You carry on a conversation or moment of companionship that doesn’t involve me, and I feel betrayed. You don’t tell me about the events and happenings of your life the minute they occur, and I feel betrayed. You don’t take the bait when I fish for reassurance and proof of your love, and I feel betrayed. You express frustration towards me, and I feel betrayed. You’re 5 minutes late, and I feel betrayed.
But you’re the very best part of my life. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted and everything I never believed I deserved. I wake up every morning wondering what heroic deed I performed to deserve your serendipitous presence in my life, and within the same breath, I wonder if you’re actually just a punishment waiting to happen. Another disappointment. Another break. Another confirmation of my inadequacy.
But every day, you show up. Every day, you love me as much as you know how. Every day, you try. Every day, you believe in me and believe in us. Every day, you tell me you’re fully, wholeheartedly, unconditionally committed to me and my happiness, and you say it as many times as I need to hear it. Every day, you think I’m the sun, and every day, you wish to give me the stars.
I’m so lucky to have found something so wonderful and pure.
If your love for me is any indication at all, I won’t have to look anymore, I won’t have to fight anymore, and I won’t have to hurt anymore.
And yet, I’m terrified of what I don’t know. I don’t know what lies ahead, so I tell myself it could only be fires, tornadoes and hurricanes.
Because all I know how to do is mess things up. And all I’ve witnessed is the careless and rapid speed in which I am left behind.