Where are you, the man who I will love? The person who will be beside me forever? I’ve been looking for you all my life. I looked for you when I sat with my best friend late at night, reading our teen magazines, flipping through the pages of love stories. “How to find a boyfriend,” “15 fun dates under $15,” “Best qualities in a boyfriend.” And we lay there, late at night, whispering what we’d want in you.
Funny. Protective. Charming.
The things we do together, the types of things you say, what you’d look like, slipping from our lips as our eyes fluttered shut. Married by 25. Kids by 27. We’d be virgins for you, we swore. I was supposed to find you straight of high school, maybe in college. And I’d fall asleep imagining your strong arms keeping me safe. Are you looking for me, too?
I’m getting older, and I still haven’t found you. What do you look like? Will you have the same brown eyes that I do? Maybe you are tall and lean, or maybe you are overweight. I would run my fingers through your blonde hair and kiss your eyelashes. I can imagine your soft lips on mine — or are they rough lips? It would be cold and rainy, there would be mascara running down my face, but you’d be there, quick with a towel and this incredible warmth. “I love you,” you’d say, and suddenly my sadness would be gone. I’d fall asleep, cradled against your warm chest. But where are you?
I looked for you in the metro. And I looked for you in my new classes. I thought maybe you’d be in the library, or perhaps the train. I looked for you that night in the bar. Maybe you were halfway across the world, so I looked for you there, too. But the person I found in the metro never messaged me back. The boy I found in my classes found someone else. And the boy in the bar? I still wonder if that was you. You gave me cough medicine and bandaged my cuts. You told me I was beautiful and made love to me in the rain. You told me I was special and gave me your heart. You have sad eyes, but you’re perfect. I thought I had finally found you, and suddenly you were gone.
Did we bump into each other that day in the park? Maybe I shouldn’t have been listening to my headphones. Did you see me, and think I was too ugly? I should’ve worn that pink dress. Could you have been on that bus I missed by a second? Or, perhaps, I was too mean to you when we were kids. Are you that guy I was too shy to talk to? Maybe I looked like shit that day. I should’ve worn more make-up. Could it be you’re scared to find me? I would never hurt you. My friends found you, and my aunt found you, even my 16 year old cousin found you, but I haven’t found you. Could you have died in a freak accident? And as you lay there, bleeding out, you apologized to me with your last words — since you’d leave me to be alone forever, wondering if I’d ever find you.
This is getting exhausting. Are you one of my friends? And suddenly, I’d see you’ve been here the entire time, surely not. You can’t be. Could you have fallen in love with someone else? I’m tired of looking for you, my love. If we’re playing hide-and-seek, I’m ready to surrender the game. You can win this time.
Where are you? For now, darling, I give up. And while I wait, maybe I’ll find me instead.