When I was in high school, I read this theory about soul mates. It was known as The Red Thread of Destiny, springing from an old Chinese legend.
“An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.”
I was always so busy choking on my own romanticism. I wanted that Big Love. The grand gesture. My heart was blooming and I needed the right person to tend to it, to water it, to pluck away the weeds.
And I found it. I did. I truly loved him. And he loved me.
And for a while, it was everything. The kind of relationship that showed me what love looks like, smells like, how it requires work no matter how dreamlike it may seem.
But things break apart. Time does what it does. Distance doesn’t make the heart grow fonder, it makes it colder. It teaches it to keep beating alone. It grows a thick wall, one that, after a while, becomes hard to break down.
There were more guys. I had hopeless crushes, flings that faded when hormones settled. I dated. I dated people who liked me more than I liked them. I dated people who I desperately hoped would reciprocate my feelings.
And then, there was you.
My romanticism came rushing back, almost nauseatingly. It was you! I was so sure. That invisible red thread had brought you to me. All this time, and you arrived in the most unexpected of places. I wasn’t looking for you. I wasn’t looking for anyone, really.
But one look at you and I was done. I’ve never believed in love at first sight. You were the first time I saw someone and thought, “He’s going to fuck me up. Oh, he’s going to change it all.”
I loved you with a stubbornness. I loved you even when I shouldn’t have. I loved you when my friends were telling me to let go. I loved you when you were hurting over another girl, and I’d rub your back and tell you it was going to be okay.
I loved you so, so much.
I loved you in a way that has never made sense. It’s never been logical. I can’t make sense of how entirely I wanted to be yours, to be by your side when things were tough, to cheer you on when you were dying to give up. I just wanted it. I wanted you. All of you.
And you wanted me, but not the same way. You wanted parts of me. You wanted me in conditions. You loved me, but as a substitute.
It’s been years. We are different people. We’ve grown apart. I wonder if you’d even recognize me.
But even when I want it to quit, my heart keeps choosing you. I still answer your call, even when it comes out of nowhere and everyone I care about is telling me to let it go to voicemail.
I will always answer your call.
Because part of me will never stop loving you. I’ll never stop wanting to be there for you.
“The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.”
All this time, the thread hasn’t broken. I wonder if it ever will.