From the very beginning, we knew we were a special pairing. The chemistry was there but our timing couldn’t have been more off. So I settled for the dread of an almost relationship, because “almost” meant that I could still have you.
Almost relationships hurt; they suck. They string you along, keep you hoping, and never seem to end. The problem with being your almost was that you always made me feel like I was more, but then I never was. The problem with being your almost was deciding if almost was enough, but almost will never be enough. So why am I still here, stuck in this never-ending cycle? I hold on because I want to see it through. I want to escape this weird limbo we’re in; I don’t want to wonder, “What if?” yet it’s still all I do.
The problem with being your almost is that it makes me feel like I’m almost enough, almost perfect, almost worthy. Almost, but never quite there. The problem is that it makes me feel so close to an “us” before it leads me down the dead-end road where there is no “us”. There’s just me and you on opposite sides of the same road, and no matter how hard I try, I can never reach you. I’m almost there, but never there, always participating in the same mind games.
I avoid asking questions about what we are or where you see this going because I don’t want to seem desperate, but it’s embarrassing because you know how I feel. Everyone does, and you don’t acknowledge it. You leave me feeling like it’s all one-sided, and then you keep stringing me along. You kept me in the shadows of your life—there was your world and then there was me. I lived in this corner of your mind that you could access when it was convenient.
When we’re together, it feels like this is going somewhere like if I can just hold on for a little longer, you’ll finally choose me, but it’s always the same “bad timing” excuse, and then you leave.
Lately, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever stop being your second option. Every time you leave, I tell myself that I won’t make myself available to you again, but I’m lying to myself because I know that as soon as you come back around, I’ll keep going.
We never have closure; there’s never a real goodbye. I’ll talk to other people when you’re away, but I never let things get serious because I’m always subconsciously holding on to the idea of us. I think that next time will be different, only that next time never is.
I tell myself that this time I’ll tell you that I want more, but then I stop myself because I don’t want to hear you say that you can’t give me more. I don’t want to hear all the reasons why this is a bad time for you.
I want to hear you say that I’m more than an almost, but you never say it. I don’t confront you because almost feels better than nothing; having you in one way feels better than not having you at all. Knowing you’ll come back keeps me at arm’s length, close enough that I’ll still be yours but far enough that I’ll survive without you, because I know that when you do come back, you always come back to me.
I can lie and say that I’m okay with this, that it’s just how we are. But almost just isn’t enough. I want to say, “Choose me—be all in or not at all.” I want to say, “Screw the distance, because I’m crazy about you.” But instead, I stay quiet.
I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve spent replaying everything in my head or imagining the moment when I finally tell you how I feel. I think back to every exchange, every second, and psychoanalyze everything. I try to blame myself.
I tell myself that maybe if I just make a bold gesture, you’ll finally realize, but I always stop myself because bold gestures aren’t what we’re about. We are about subtlety, telling each other how we feel without ever saying it. You care about me enough to keep coming back, but you don’t care about me enough to keep me around when you go.
We’re never more than almost.
So why do I keep wishing for more than almost?