An Open Valentine’s Day Letter To My Almost Love

A woman's cupped hands holding a dried rose and other flower petals
Katherine Hanlon / Unsplash

I wish I could say that I don’t think of you every time I drive along that infamous city skyline.

Or that I don’t get choked up every time I pass where we said goodbye, ironically across from the very place we met.

As if it couldn’t get any worse.

With every trigger, I get more bitter about having to constantly be reminded of you.

Must the Universe taunt me like this?

I can still feel your embrace outside of Penn Station as my tears seeped into the fibers of your shirt. The tightest you’d ever held me. Eyes closed, gripping harder with each passing second as if you couldn’t bear to let go.

And yet, you did.

You kissed me and muttered that you were sure we’d talk soon, but I knew you just didn’t know what else to say.

“Goodbye” seemed too final, though we both knew that was what it was.

It was a moment I put off for many months.

I knew the amount of pain it would bring. I just preferred to live in a fantasy of what we could be instead.

It took those many months for me to love myself enough to let go of you and your potential. 

And to realize that potential is not worth the anxiety and suffering that an almost relationship brings.

You wouldn’t reach that potential anyway; I knew it all along.

Yet I still strived to be the one who could get you there.

Instead, you made me question my worth. But now I’ve never been surer of it.

So on this Valentine’s Day, I thank you.

Thank you for shining light on the parts of me that needed to be loved and tended to.

Not by you, but by me. 

By being denied your love, I found it in myself.

More love than you could ever have given me.

Thank you. TC mark

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