It feels like I’m always the one to stay, but what if I were the one to run away? Scared of the hair playing and the drink sharing and the I care about you’s. I’d pack my pockets full of my fear and your reassurance, just in case. You’d tell me you were happy I’m there and I would smile as I watched the road from the top of your head. We’d laugh on a bed too small for all our insecurities but just big enough for the promises, for the secrets, and I’d think, well maybe I’ll stay. What if I were the one to run away?
When you know this could be forever, you leave. You talk about in a few months, in a few years. You make plans. It’s all too much. You see the future in the curve of their elbow and on the tip of their nose – you’re not brave enough to see it in their eyes. The rest of signs are just suggestions, while the eyes are windows. It’s hard to deny what you can see through a window. They are scary because they ask a lot of you. They ask you to be honest, with them but also with yourself. They ask you if you’ve ever been in love, and you’re forced to think about what love means. If you might be in love with them. If maybe you’re even still trying to learn how to love yourself. Love is scary. Love, love could be forever. When you see the signs of forever, you put your shoes on.
Is leaving easy? You tell yourself it’s not. This person you’ve made a part of yourself is extraordinary – leaving will break you. When you weld yourself to someone like that, the break is excruciating. Sometimes we need to leave. Sometimes leaving is what’s best. Sometimes leaving is the hardest part. But if you know it could be forever, then leaving is easy. We’re restless, and we run away from forever at all costs. Staying for an unpredictable forever – my dear, that’s hard.
What if I were to become all the you’s who run away? I would be the one who this was too hard for. I would be the one who was too busy and career focused to make this work. I would be the one who would just leave one day, without any warning, without leaving a note. I would be the one who could blow you off if I was too busy or didn’t want to make you like me too much. I would be the one. You, you would just be me. You would be the one who cared too much and didn’t know how to make me care that much in return. You would be the one who cried in a 30th floor hotel room, airports, a BO infested bedroom, outside a bodega in Brooklyn, and everywhere else. You would be the one who felt like they wouldn’t be able to breath straight until you made this work. Me? I would try not to watch you. Watching you might make me stay. And darling, we can’t have that. It’s not time for that yet. Will it ever be? How do I learn to run away from forever?
It’s probably not easy being you. You do care. You do want to make this work. You hear my voice and think, damn, why does it have to be this way? Because for some reason it has to be this way. You’re not trying to be an asshole. You want this to go everywhere we’d always talked about taking it. Everything is too unstable. You can’t be everything the world needs of you all at once. You have to put me aside. You don’t want to. Then don’t, then don’t rings in your ears. It might be me saying it, but the universe is a pretty strong believer in love too, so I guess you never know.
I know it’s not easy, for anyone. Possible forever’s are scary. Possible forever’s have too many possibilities. Don’t run away from forever. Forever’s are scary, but they can be beautiful too. Run away from destructive, abusive, unhealthy. Don’t run away from possible.
When you know this could be forever, you’re torn. This person of yours is a handful. This forever they speak of is a long time. There is time to have forever, you think. It doesn’t have to be now. When you know this could be forever, you say, well, maybe later.
When I know this could be forever, I take my shoes off.
I could be the one to leave, you know. Can I leave if you’ve already left? We know I’ll never be the one to run away. I don’t know how. I love the things that scare me – even you.