It was the Thursday night of finals week of my last semester of college. I was out celebrating with my girls and…
Have you ever laid eyes on someone and felt like you just had to know them? That’s how I felt the first time I saw you, tending the bar. It was such an immediate, strong reaction that I couldn’t ignore you even if I tried. So, I went up to you at the bar, ordering drinks as an excuse. You know, I’ve never been the kind of girl who makes the first move but I left you my number anyway and told you to call me.
A couple of days later, you asked me out for a drink. It was the night before my graduation, and I thought to myself, “Why the hell not?”
I figured you’d either be a good time or a good story. It turned out you were both and so much more than I bargained for.
I saw you the next night, too, foregoing sleep to spend time with you and stealing as many kisses as I could. I said a lot of goodbyes that night. I asked you if I had to say goodbye to you, too, and you said, “Not if you don’t want to.” And that should’ve been it. That should’ve been the end of our story since I got on a plane and flew hundreds of miles away the very next morning, but I hadn’t expected to like you as much as I did and I couldn’t say goodbye to you. So I didn’t.
Instead, I came back again and again to see you. I made every excuse to come visit and put my life on hold for you. But every time I left again, I never said goodbye. And the leaving just got harder and harder the more I saw you, the more I kissed you, the more I opened myself up to you.
I fell for you, hard and fast. I can’t say that I fell in love with you but I definitely fell in something that I’ve never felt before. With you. I fell in something like love that I haven’t allowed myself to fall into in a while because of intimacy issues, bad experiences, and past heartbreaks. No one can hurt you if you never let them close enough to try, right? And I never did let anyone close enough to try. Not one person in the last four years. Until you. And it was glorious. Until it wasn’t. Until it just hurt.
I can blame the distance for us not working out, but the truth is, you just weren’t ready for me (which is laughable considering I’ve always been the one who wasn’t ready for something serious) because you had just gotten out of the longest relationship you’d ever been in so I understand. But I think that truth is even harder for me to swallow than the 366 miles between us because I would’ve done anything to be with you — I still would.
That hurts more than anything because I chose you despite all the alarms going off in my head, telling me that I was just giving you the power to break my heart. I fought hard against my survival instinct to sabotage us before we ever had the chance to begin like I had done with all my almost relationships in the past. I let you in, inside my head, my heart, and my body. I was all in. I was all in but I was all in it by myself.
I chose you but you were still getting over her. I never really had a chance, did I?
And that is why I have to finally say goodbye.