There is this song by Ronan Keating called If Tomorrow Never Comes. He sings about how he hopes she knows he loves her, how he can only hope he has told her in every way possible. Every time it plays, you tell me you love me, and that you hope I know that. I do. See, there are thousands of songs about not having the chance to say what you needed to to the person you love. And I get it, the thought scares me too.
But you know what else scares me? Thinking about what if our forever is more than just tomorrow. What if our forever really is, well, forever. Or at least the kind of lifetime together that is the closest we as humans can ever get to forever.
When it’s late at night and the intrusive thoughts threaten to consume me, I make lists. I write letters. I hide them in some drawer somewhere, next to the ones about the things I’d want to tell you if our forever is just tomorrow. I don’t think I’ll show you these letters either. The stuff I write is the same. The apologies I think I owe you, the things I should have changed, the things I’ve left unsaid. See, the thing is, whether our forever is just tomorrow or whether it is our lifetime, whether we grow old together or have just one more day… the letters are about the past.
I tried to write about our future. About what I hope for us, where I see us, what I want from our life. And I try to picture it, I really do, but somehow, well, I can’t. Thinking of a lifetime together is thinking of decades ahead. I’ve not even lived through three decades of my own, so how can I be planning for another five or so with you?
I’ll love you always, whether forever is just tomorrow or another five decades worth of tomorrows. But what I wrote in those letters too, what I know I could never truly say out loud, is that just because I’ll love you always, just because I see you in my heart forever, does not mean that I see us together.
I guess if I had to write a letter about our future, if I had to think ahead for more than twice the amount of time I’ve even spent on earth, this is what I’d write:
Our story is epic—maybe not to others, but it is to me. I love you. You’ve changed my life irrevocably; you’ve changed me. I’ll love you always, you’ve changed me forever. But, sometimes, the greatest love stories are the ones that last forever but end too soon.