Have you ever been in love?
Someone asked me this question the other day…
My answer was no, but almost. I could have been in love.
Now I don’t profess to be an expert in the matter of love, far from it if I am being honest, but in my opinion almost being in love might be worse than having love and losing it. Almost being in love, knowing that you could love someone if they let you, if you had more time, if things had been just a little different… Having the possibility of such a wondrous thing at the tips of your fingers only for it to be taken away from you is close to torture.
Maybe that chance was taken away slowly, little by little until there was nothing tangible left to hold on to, or maybe it was snatched away from you in the blink of an eye before you really knew what was happening. Either way, you are left disoriented wondering what happened to this hope of something more than what was.
Almost being in love is great, it is filled with unbounded hope and promise. There can be days, weeks, or even months of these hopeful moments. There always seems to be more happy and perfect days than bad ones. You really can’t remember a time when you were ever this happy and excited. But soon almost stops being enough as you keep waiting for that next step that takes you into something more, something better and final and real. Soon enough that limbo of almost starts to feel like a trap that you can’t escape, even though it’s a trap of your own making.
Eventually almost stops being filled with hope and promise and starts to feel like endless doubt and heartache. There comes a point when you can see the end coming and there is nothing you can do to stop it, even if you wanted to. Because almost being in love is just that, an almost, a maybe, not a promise, nothing tangible. Almost being in love is great, until it isn’t.
Almost being in love is thinking there is another step at the top of the stairs, only to have your foot fall through air. You have a moment of confusion when you realized you were wrong to trust in your memory.
Almost being in love is waking up from a nap at 6 and not realizing if it is daybreak or nightfall and feeling that moment of panic at not knowing if you have wasted an entire evening or not.
Almost being in love is walking through your house in the dark, so sure that you know the way without guidance and hitting your toe on a corner, instant pain and shock.
Almost being in love is that high point on a rollercoaster just before the biggest drop and then having the ride shut down. All the anticipation, all the delightful terrifying build up to no end. There is no reward for the bumps and twists and turns that led up to that point. Sure it was a fun enough ride, but that’s not what you expected to find at the end.
But maybe that’s all it’s ever supposed to be. Maybe you’re supposed to go through all the bumps and twists and turns to specifically not stop where you thought your ride would end. Maybe all the signs were there. In the days filled with second thoughts and painful maybes and… hell the signs were definitely there. And when it’s over and you look back on the good days you realize that there had always been more off days than right moments.
Almost being in love and never having it actualized, never having the chance to see it through, never reaching the potential happiness that was always within reach is soul crushing. I guess that’s the problem with trying to write an ending before there ever really was a beginning. Either way, it’s good practice.