I remember years ago, someone asked me what I could possibly know about love. He wasn’t really asking though, it’s more of a rhetorical question. What he really meant was I clearly must know nothing about love or loving.
I was stunned and confused. Can he be right? I was left with nothing but a strong desire to elicit answers. I didn’t understand where he was coming from then, I knew I loved him. I’d been spending months of my life begging for him to come back and coming after him like he was the only man alive.
I’d been investing all my efforts trying to fix something irremediable. Embedding contrasting pieces of two distant puzzles together, recapitulating every single detail for the sake of identifying that one thing I did wrong, attempting to alter that day that provoked our downfall. Doesn’t that prove love? I guess not.
That’s when it hit me. I only thought I knew love when in reality, I knew absolutely nothing. All I know is chasing someone who doesn’t want me anymore; craving for his attention, controlling every detail so that it will be as I wanted it to be and forcing him to love me as I love him. I only cared about my happiness and not his. I didn’t care about what he wanted, what he feels. I didn’t care about the fact that maybe he wanted to be free, to live life without me, or maybe he wanted to love someone else other than me. I didn’t care about any of those things. I only cared about how I felt, how much I want him, how much I needed him, and how much I can’t live without him.
And that’s not love. That’s desperation at it’s finest. Selfishness in all forms.
Right now, as I remember this, I look at him with eyes filled with tears and realize I just found out the answer to that question I spent the rest of my life looking for; I know what love is and what it’s like to love now.
I proved that with him.
I proved it with all the times I loved him when he was hardest to love, all the times I sacrificed my own happiness for him. With all the times I cherished the most all the unlovable parts of him, all the times we argued and fought and found our way back to each other, with all the times we swore to God that we’d be together no matter what. And for all the times I glanced at him and swore to myself that I am willing to do whatever it takes for this man, may it be a bullet or a knife in my heart – that showed something, right? He must have felt it, right?
And baby, he made sure of that love right in that moment I let him go.
I let him go because he fell in love with someone else. He fell out of love with me and fell in love with her. When I found out, I didn’t have the strength to yell or throw stuff or be angry at you even. All I have was the courage to ask questions. I asked why, and he told me he just felt it, and that it was too strong it had overtaken him. He told me he didn’t mean, but that didn’t stop it from happening. He told me she’s different, nothing like me and that’s the exact reason why he fell for her. Because she isn’t anything like me. She’s spontaneous, brave and inspiring. She challenges him, pushes you to go out and be adventurous.
I’m safe and calm. I tried my best to protect and love everything about him. He doesn’t want to be protected any longer. He doesn’t want someone to love everything about him. He wants the raging sea, someone who can love and hate him all at once – I am not capable that. I am indeed, nothing like her. We are two totally different people. I made him choose, because I needed to hear the truth. And he told me, with a low voice and a pained expression: it’s her.
My chest ached. My knees grew weak. My whole body became paralyzed from the pain.
Choosing her over me was beyond excruciating. Beyond torture. I guess that love for five years wasn’t fulfilling enough for him to choose me. It wasn’t satisfying enough for him to fight for me, to fight for what we had and what we could be. In the end it all boils down to was the fact that I wasn’t enough.
Not because I want to shove myself to him, but because I needed to kiss him for the last time. I kissed him and I never knew a kiss could be that painful, I didn’t even know painful kisses existed, until that moment I tasted his lips. And as I continue to savor his taste, his scent, and everything about him for the last time, I accepted the fact that he didn’t choose me.
I let him go despite the fact that I wanted him. Despite the fact that I was first. Despite the fact that he was throwing me away all for her. Despite the fact that I did everything, sacrificed everything, all for him. Despite the fact that I fought for us, that I chose him every single day for the last five years. But never because I didn’t love him.
I let him go because I love him.
I let him go because I wanted him to be happy even if it costs me my own happiness. I let him go because I wanted him to be free, to soar high, to have these amazing adventures he’d always dreamt of, to go out there and discover things without me. I love him that’s why I am putting all his wishes and needs above my only need, above my only wish; to be his. I love him that’s why I let him go.
That boy from years ago might have been right when he said I know nothing about love, but now, it’s no longer an argument. I know for a fact that I loved him and I still do. I love him enough to let him go even if it destroyed everything inside me. I set him free because I don’t want him to be stuck with me with unhappiness in his heart. I want him to be happy and that’s love. Love in its truest form.
So if anyone questions whether or not I know about love ever again, I know exactly what to tell them.