When We Said Goodbye, Only Part Of Me Meant It

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I loved you like only a teenager can: passionately, with everything on fire, lacking any fear or sense that it could all eventually burn out. There was never hesitation. I didn’t just fall, I dove head first into love. I threw my entire body down the rabbit hole without even looking.

In the beginning, you didn’t seem real. I had this irrational thought that made me nervous before going to sleep. What if I wake up? What if this has quite literally all been a dream?

You were a fantasy I had been writing in childhood diaries for as long as I could remember. And yes, it was cheesy. It was probably nauseating. But you appeared like you were straight out of a 90s high school romcom, and the entire world lit up when you looked at me.

You were finally here. My dream boy with broad shoulders and an upside down triangle-shaped chest. My fingers got lost in your curls and all the butterflies swarming would land somewhere in my stomach every time you smiled. You spoke with this beautiful kindness. You were the person everyone immediately fell in love with. Romantically, platonically, all of it. You couldn’t help it, you stole hearts everywhere you went.

When we said goodbye, it felt like a temporary situation. Like maybe, we were just putting everything on hold. I had to figure out who I was, and you were living in a city 3,000 miles away. We had growing up to do. Maybe we could have done it in a relationship, but maybe not. So, I aired on the “maybe not” side.

But just because we put our relationship to bed doesn’t mean I stopped loving you. The last time I kissed you, our goodbye kiss, I was still unquestionably in love with you.

In the silent moments when no one else is around, when I’m shrouded in darkness, I think, maybe, I still love you. I never fully let you go. I never stopped believing in us.

When I let us go, I didn’t do it because I was done with you. I did it for reasons that seem meaningless now that it’s been so long. Is this what happens? Is this the kind of sorrow that happens when you realize you were the one who let the one-who-got-away go?

I think I deserve this. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself. I let you go. I was the one who buried us. All this melancholy is what I get. I just didn’t think we’d get so far off. I thought we’d find each other again.

When we said goodbye, I loved you. And I dreamt of kissing you for months. My darling, you are not my darling, but I still dream of kissing you. Even if I only admit it during REM cycles, I still love you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Ari Eastman

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

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