I Don’t Know Why I Love You, I Just Do

MacKenzi Martin

I don’t know why, but I love you. I’ll never forget the first time I saw you.

You were wearing a white top with a blue skirt and a pair of white plugs. Your hair was still blonde then. I asked my friend who you were. And he replied with something like, “Oh, the hipster chick? She’s in Homecoming.”

Being part of the small community we’re in, in such a small town, it wasn’t long until I started seeing you around. I started frequenting the coffee shop you worked at. You must have thought it was because the group of people I came with turned out to be mutual friends of ours, but I always went because I wanted to see you. I even went there for breakfast a lot of days by myself, hoping you would be there. I ate alone a lot, but I achieved the “regular” status and earned myself free lattes. We didn’t know each other then.

We started to become friends. We had a little friend group back in those early days. We were all so young. I took the guys from the Light House to your one year anniversary. I had just gotten my new car, so I kind of had the ruling in which meeting we went to that night. You had just completed the Homecoming program and it wasn’t too long after that I got kicked out of the Lighthouse. You offered to let me crash on your couch that night. I left at 6 in the morning. It felt so strange to somehow be in your house when we just started becoming friends, but there was no where else I would rather have been.

Do you remember that time I showed up to the gamestop you were working at in the mall on Halloween with a little crafted pumpkin basket filled with candy. Your coworkers embarrassed the shit out of me, but they thought it was sweet. I was so awkward and so unconfident then.

Or that time I had flowers sent to your house anonymously? You somehow figured out it was me when the only evidence was a little tag with your name I had written in cursive. Apparently no one else knows how to write in cursive. I was completely unaware, but you were about to start dating someone. He didn’t like me for quite awhile after that. I was crushed.

Time has passed and so much has happened.
We eventually fell into the same group of best friends. Like, the best of friends. There were times where I know we both could feel the tension between us. Our group would jokingly say things like we’ll wind up getting married someday, but it’s always seemed like there was still some kind of wall between us. Like an elegant dance where we never touch. I’ve watched you date guys who were all terrible to you. I know I was an asshole at times then, but I just couldn’t tell you how much I hurt for you. I guess I wasn’t much better in a way now that I think about it. I was full of jealousy and hated those guys for the things they put you through.

You and I both have had our strange ellipses, drifting from everyone and each other at times.

I relapsed and moved back to the city at the end of 2014. You eventually left for Arizona the next summer to pursue job opportunity after another bad break up. We were both wound up having more terrible misadventures then. I was getting out of a really toxic relationship myself. Arizona was not panning out to be what you hoped for. We talked a lot then while we were worlds apart. I drove to the airport with our friends to pick you up when you decided to come home. I wanted to be one of the first people the first person to see you. That must have been my during my second run of recovery before I was back out again for a bit.

Now it has been a little over a year now since I finally have become healthily and happily sober and moved back to our little town where we met. You’re busy with finishing a degree and working. I just started a business with one of our best friends. We see each other still and are probably in a better positions in both of our lives than we ever have been before. So much has happened that I just simply couldn’t fit into this letter, but one thing that hasn’t changed is that I still love you. I’ve never been very direct with you and the more time I have to reflect on the past, the more I see how selfish and immature I was then. We’ve both grown so much. There is just something I have never been able to fully shake about you. I guess fear still keeps me in check.

I don’t think I want to give up on the idea that there is a reason for all this. That it has all been part of a bigger plan, making us the best we can be for when we finally stop this ballet.

I know you’ll never read this and I apologize for the length to those who do, but sometimes deep wants and wishes and words unspoken have to be sent off into the universe. It’s an act of release. To leave it out of my hands and up to whatever strings tie this life together.

I don’t know why I love you. I just do. I just always have. TC mark

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