I wanted to do a lot of things with you, but this was not one of them.
I wanted to explore the world with you, collect stamps in our passports, get lost in European alleyways and scrounge together change for sandwiches because we got the conversion rates wrong and ran out of money too soon into our trip. I wanted to fall in love all over again in front of the Eiffel Tower and laugh at Mona Lisa’s crooked smile and learn how to dance in Spain. I wanted to sleep in a dirty hostel, curled up around you so I wouldn’t have to lie fully flat on the sheets and I wanted to feel safe because I knew I was with you. I wanted to go to Argentina and Israel, and I wanted to meet your family and I wanted to be nervous that they wouldn’t like to me, and I wanted you to assure me that of course they would. I wanted to fall in love with new cities and places and landmarks and I wanted to do it all with you.
I wanted to start my life with you, going wherever our careers took us, even if that meant apart for a while. I wanted to get our first apartment together in New York, downtown, of course. I wanted to decorate our small place together, knowing that I’d have to compromise but not caring in the end. I wanted to be cheap and buy non-name brand things but spend the majority of our paychecks on overpriced sushi from that place on St. Mark’s.
I wanted to hyperventilate before our wedding over something incredibly minute, like how the color of my dress wasn’t the shade of white I really wanted to it be or how the flowers in the bridesmaids’ bouquets didn’t quite match the flowers in mine. I wanted to hear you laugh and watch you roll your eyes as I told you about my meltdown at the reception; I wanted you to take that moment to pull me in and kiss my forehead, telling me that I was nuts, but that you loved me anyway.
I wanted to spend my wedding night next to you, in a small hotel near the airport we’d take an overpriced taxi to at an ungodly hour the next morning to go on our honeymoon, and I wanted to stay up regardless, calling you my husband as often as possible and repeating my name with yours attached. I wanted to go to Fiji, or Thailand, or Australia, or anywhere as long as I was with you.
I wanted to have kids with you, even though I was never crazy about the idea of them, little sticky, crying people, tiny humans that I’d to shape into trustworthy and honest adults, but you made me want them. I wanted to name them Luke and Abby, and you wanted his middle name to be Sky, and I wanted to tell you I didn’t, because he’d be made fun of in school, but I didn’t, because you loved Star Wars and I loved you.
I wanted to hold your hand in the delivery room and crush your fingers as I screamed. I wanted you to brush my hair out of my eyes and tell me everything was going to be all right. I wanted to see you cry when you held our son or daughter in your arms for the first time. I wanted to be the proud new mother of your child.
I wanted to always fall asleep next to you and wake up there too. I wanted to feel your arms wrapped around me and I wanted to lay my head on your chest and follow the beat of your heart as you slept. I wanted to continue to steal the sheets and pillows and blankets from you and I wanted you to love me even though I left you shivering each night.
I wanted to find my first gray hair while standing in front of the mirror of our house next to you as our kids screamed for us from downstairs and I wanted to be there to comfort you when you started losing your hair. I want to laugh at how awful we look with wrinkles and how ridiculous we feel being called “ma’am” and “sir.”
I never wanted you to break my heart and I never wanted to lay awake at night, wondering how I was going to spend the rest of my life, the rest of my 80 years on earth (assuming I live to the age of 100, of course) without you. But you did, and I do.
I never wanted to dread doing my favorite things. I never wanted to resent New York City or cry every time I heard my favorite song or avoid all the actors we loved, all the jokes we found funny, all the things we found beautiful, but I do and it’s because of you.
I never wanted to love someone new, never wanted to be with someone else, never wanted to be apart from you, never wanted to watch you fall in love with someone else, but I have to want that now. I never wanted to unravel my life yours, never wanted to pick up the pieces of my life, never wanted to haphazardly glue them back together, but I have to want to. I have to want to forget about you, and this is something I never wanted to do.