I Couldn’t Call You To Say Happy Birthday

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I’m beginning to believe I won’t ever love someone the same way I loved you.

And that’s not supposed to be melodramatic or some boo-hoo bullshit that has my parents calling me and wondering, “you okay?”

I think this is just something I’ve finally decided to accept. Something I’m not going to question anymore. It doesn’t need to be a great mystery, why your laugh is still the only thing that gives me flippy-butterflies that land somewhere in my throat.

I’m done trying to dissect it, picking it apart, searching for some sort of meaning. It doesn’t need to be solved.

Maybe some things are just the way they are. We don’t get reasons or closure. We can’t tie everything up neatly with a pretty bow.

I’ll be okay. I know that. It’s not that I don’t think I’ll love deeply again. Because I have. I’ve kissed and touched and seen promising futures in men I truly adored.

But expecting it to ever feel like us? That’s been my undoing. That’s been the knot in my stomach whenever someone new seems wonderful. That’s the fear I hate verbalizing. But I’m trying to, lately.

I think this is how I start to get better.

I wish I could tell you these things face-to-face. I wish I could show you the scars I have from loving you and how glad I am they never healed. I like having pieces of us with me. Because you made me so much of what I am today. You gave me so much to believe in, to look forward to, to keep going for. You weren’t just my light at the end of the tunnel, you were my reason to push through the darkness.

I wanted to call you tonight to say, “Happy birthday, you’re still my guy.”

But I couldn’t. Because you’re not. Even if I wish you were. You’re not mine to love. You’re not mine to tell silly stories to. You’re not mine to hug and say, “I’m so happy you’re back home,” to anymore.

I hope it was the best day.

Because, honestly?



23 years and you are still my best day. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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