We didn’t meet in any of those romantic comedy, “it’s a funny story” kind of ways. We didn’t even find each other attractive until months into our dysfunctional relationship. I’m surprised that I am even writing this given our unromantic, spark-less beginning.
Stories like ours should have started like a whirlwind romance — two lovers meet on a chance encounter, fall into a deep, passionate affair, but unfortunately find that they don’t have much of a connection outside the bedroom. If I could rewrite our story, it would start a little more like that, watered down to a more realistic, collegiate level — then our ending probably would make more sense, then I probably would have realized what was wrong between us long ago instead of replaying the story of us over and over again in my head desperately trying and piece together why exactly we couldn’t work — why we’d never work.
Instead, our story started a little like this. When we first met, I was on the prowl for some meaningless hook-ups with some similar seeking frat boys, and you were so happy in your stable, perfect long distance relationship with your beautiful girlfriend. We were opposites, to say the least. We wanted, looked for, and expected completely different things. The only thing that brought us together that night was the one commonality we shared — we both needed the same thing, company. It was the first day of orientation; what person in their right mind would pass up a potential friend, right?
Even as we trudged slowly down frat row together, our conversations felt rehearsed, exhausted, and a little forced. The first house we stopped at you excused yourself to call your girlfriend as I embarrassingly continued to dance alone. Like I said, any rational person would understand if our relationship ended there — but it didn’t. For some reason we decided to hang out again and again —and then everything changed.
Over the next several months, you broke up with your girlfriend, I started to look for something more meaningful, and we came to find that we found friends in each other that we never thought we could. You were the first person I’d come to about everything; I was the first person you would talk to at the end of the day. We were in a really good place before it got complicated, before we realized we wanted to tear off each other’s clothes but at the same time keep our relationship perfectly the way it was. But of course, curious, adventurous, and thinking “why the hell not?” — we tried it, and it was so much fun, until all of a sudden in one swooping moment, it wasn’t anymore.
Holding that disaster of a relationship in our hands, we realized it was as good as broken glass —better left broken then hurting us as we try to piece it back together. Maybe we should have known that it was fragile from the start, but it was all too little, too late.
I could blame you for never getting over your ex-girlfriend, still planning a future with her despite the years you know you’ll spend apart. You could blame me for having commitment issues and a tendency to chase desperately and then run away immediately at the first sign of intimacy. I could blame you again for thinking that you’re really just too good for anyone, but then you could blame me again for being too jealous, too needy, and too emotionally unstable all the god damn time. We could keep blaming each other forever, but we would always end up at the same truth: it’s not that one of us is singularly incapable of relationships, it’s that together we make a volatile pair.
Separately, we are perfectly normal parts, but together we can’t seem to make a whole. Like two puzzle pieces, no matter how many angles we try and fit at, our picture never turns out. The flaws and gaps in our attempts might never be understood, but the important part is that they are there, and that no matter how hard we try, they won’t go away. Even the smallest wounds are marked by scars, and our cuts are no exception.
I want you to know — I need you to know — that you are perfect the way you are. If I had a checklist, you’d mark every box. I wish so much that you and I would fit. Us not working had nothing to do with your failures or my incompetencies; each of us is set and ready and perfect for someone, whether we meet them tomorrow or five years from now. It was never you or me — all along it was just us.
So you stay the perfect you, I’ll stay the perfect me, and we’ll stay perfectly apart in our journeys to find the other half that makes us whole.