I vividly remember the moment I realized I was falling in love with you. We were returning from a road trip to Memphis one warm day in late spring and had stopped at a rest station somewhere between Nashville and Chattanooga. We bought cheer wine and sat cross-legged in the shade of a couple trees by a trickling stream. And we talked.
We talked about our friends in Memphis.
We talked about our dreams to travel the world.
We talked about life.
And as I looked at you, I realized that I was falling hopelessly in love with you. Your soft brown eyes held an entire world for me to explore and get lost in. The lines in your palms were a map to a kingdom of happiness and contentment.
You were far greater than anything I could have imagined. You were my dream girl.
You told me that day that you thought you were falling in love with me and I told you that I felt exactly the same way. I don’t remember much more about the remainder of that trip, in my memory it seems to exist as one long, blissful moment.
I do remember lady and the tramping the last blue sour punch candy we had in an old church parking lot and I remember dropping you off at your apartment—the place where you still lived with your on-and-off boyfriend.
I was naïve, I’ll admit, to think of this as only a minor road bump; but I thought that the connection we shared would be enough to see us through—that we would be the ones to make it against the odds.
We created a couple months of beautiful memories—things I will cherish forever.
We camped out in a rainstorm that filled half our tent with three inches of water.
We jammed out in the car and you laughed at me for singing off-pitch and I laughed along because I knew it was true.
We skinny-dipped in the freezing waters of a mountain pool.
I beat you at Mario Kart so many times you refused to play with me anymore.
We sat back-to-back on a blanket at our favorite park and read books as we silently basked in each other’s company.
We made love in my car on the side of the highway as countless truckers drove by.
But, as they say, all the good things have to come to an end. You were scared—too scared to leave the familiarity of the life you had.
At first, I was hurt. I was hurt that you would choose someone who disrespected you and didn’t appreciate you over me. I was hurt that you could find it in your heart to say goodbye to all the good times we shared—that you could say goodbye to the concept of us.
It took me almost a year to get to the point where I am now—where I can look forward to something better.
I’ve come to realize that there is a delicate balance in every new relationship between excitement for what could go right and fear of what could go wrong.
Unfortunately, you were too afraid of what could go wrong that you didn’t stop to think of what could go right.
So I let you go.
Not because I wanted to.
Not because I stopped loving you.
I let you go because somewhere in this world there is a girl who will put everything on the line for me—just the way I did for you—and when I meet her, I want to be able to give her everything.