A year ago, when I met you, I had no idea what I was in for.
It was a Wednesday and it was late and we had been chatting for a few days with plans for the weekend but somehow that day you couldn’t stand it anymore, you just had to meet me. I remember what I wore, black leggings and a black shirt with white polka dots, my hair was shorter and curled, my make-up was rushed and limited, and I was glowing with excitement and anticipation.
You invited me to a bar close to your house, but you yourself were just coming from a work fundraiser. You sat at a high top table and sipped on a IPA while I nervously talked a mile a minute and kept pushing my bangs back behind my ear. You smiled the whole time, touching my leg underneath the table and I could feel the heat between us. The bar was mostly empty and after an hour we realized we had to work in the morning and that I should leave.
You kissed me in the middle of the street while I stood on my tippy toes to meet your lips. I felt like Allie from The Notebook and my head was dizzy from the moment you pulled away with stars shinning bright behind you. You texted me before I had even reached the first stoplight. “That was like a shot of dopamine right to my system. I can’t breathe or think, all I can dream about is you.” That’s what you texted me, and like you I was high for the first time of many I would be all year.
A year ago I had never known that love could be so many different things all at once.
That it could be all consuming and powerful and make you do and say things without even realizing it. Because hindsight is twenty/twenty I often wonder that, if I knew then what I know now would I have run? If I knew then how broken you were, that you would lead me down a path that would change my entire life, would I have agreed to see you again?
A year ago I became an addict, not to drugs, but to you.
I walked the halls of the school I worked in the next day with my head in the clouds as if I was floating. You were my first line of coke, my first hit of crack, the needle in my arm giving me small doses of heroin. I couldn’t get enough. Even after the months that followed when I watched my friends leave, my sanity grow weary and my heart crack, break open and bleed steadily – for you it was worth it. Those first few dates, the walking in the rain, the small touches while we finished drinks and talked of music and movies, books and politics. You were perfect, the happily ever after I had waited so long for.
A year ago I didn’t know what would become of us. I didn’t know we’d teeter back and fourth, swaying between the push and pull of wanting to be together but not being able to. I didn’t know I would blatantly ignore you when you said you “couldn’t commit”, that you ,”weren’t ready”, that you had, “many issues you were still working through” from your last relationship. It was hard for me to phantom that a year later we wouldn’t be together because in my mind we were meant to be together, I just knew it.
Because you made me believe that. In the moments that we were good.
Cooking in the kitchen together, riding bikes on warm, summer nights, walking the dog around the park just to come home and collapse on the hammock where you would hum into my ear as music played in the background. I wonder now if I’m remembering it correctly, if maybe, because time has passed, I remember it fonder than it was.
A year ago I had never cried in someones arms the way I cried in yours.
I had never felt myself give into something I knew was so bad for me, had never ignored so much advice from people I trusted even more than you. I had never fought with anyone the way I fought with you, armed with words that can only be used by someone who knows every part of you, all your weaknesses and secrets. I had never supported someone or rooted for someone the way that I did you and as 3 months turned into 6 months, and 6 months turned into 9 months, we became best friends and lovers even though we knew that by the time it had been a year, we would never see each other again.
A year ago you had my heart and in many ways you’ll always have the piece I left with you.
The piece I left with a note that said, “it was too hard to say goodbye, thanks for the memories, I love you.” The pieces that will always connect us for many years, even past the time when it no longer hurts to say your name or think of your face. The face I first saw a year ago that forever changed me.