I think it’s important to note that I might never have known I was sleep walking through my life. I was blissfully content to believe that I was living fully—I made mistakes, stayed out too late, loved the people around me, searched for adventure until my heart was full and I was happy. But then I met you. The almost.
We grew up on opposite coasts and could only ever dream of what the other saw as “home” when they closed their eyes at night and thought of what they’d left behind. I was as foreign to you as you were to me. When you walked into my room that night I don’t remember thinking twice about you, but isn’t it funny how it usually happens that way?
You were the almost because time was never on our side. Even without my lack of commitment there were entire continents for us to explore alone and we could not imagine what it would mean to carry the thought of the other with us. So for a while we were almost dating, almost together, almost something that we never wanted to label. We were everything and nothing, convinced ourselves it was the only way. We said goodbye at 3:15 AM and I choked on all the words I wanted to say. You were better at the face to face. I always wished I were able to write it down first. So I left you there and shut the door and walked away under the weight of being everything and nothing all at once, and I realized another problem: no one ever teaches you how to miss this kind of person.
So now I miss you quietly and only in whispers. When I’m in my car, and the windows are rolled all the way down, and the music is turned all the way up, I think of you –and the weight of your absence is so heavy I almost think I can feel you in the passenger seat. I miss you whenever someone mentions LA or when I’m twirling the rings around on my fingers or whenever I remember the topic of one of those endless conversations that we never got to finish. I miss you after a really good laugh and when I find sand at the bottom of my purse and when it rains.
You became the almost not for lack of moments (because there were plenty of those), but because there were other lives waiting for us to live and we met too close to the start of them.
The thing about you (and the others like you) is: they leave you wishing for what still might be. You taught me about myself in ways I never knew possible. You are secrets and stories and truths that are hard to swallow. You found me and I hadn’t even known I was lost. You are the chance I’ve yet to take and the hardest goodbye because of it. You have become the pages in a journal filled with all the words I couldn’t find until it was too late.
And my, how I finally found the words and now they won’t stop—everything I should have told you when it made sense, like how I will never shy away from what I feel again because I’ve learned the importance of loving people while you have the chance, even if it isn’t for as long as you’d hoped for. Like the feeling of being free with you and knowing the comfortable silence of our two bodies in late afternoon. Like how I’ve found peace with the idea that there is no way to know what will become of us.
For now I think of meeting again on rooftops, with whiskey and sarcasm and the knowledge of being apart– in another time where everything aligns and there isn’t tiny strings tugging at our arms, pulling us in different directions. For now that is [almost] enough.