You asked me at dinner, “Who was the one special guy that got away in your life?”
It took an act of congress to get me to go on a date with you in the beginning. You persisted and I gave in, but not for any of the obvious reasons. I was having a horrible day and needed to get out of my own head. Dinner with you provided a distraction. You were so wrong for me, or so I thought, and I made an executive decision that I was wrong for you too. There I go again, pulling rank and making unilateral decisions that I had no right to.
Looking back, I was wrong. You are perfect for me.
I had been hurt and scarred. I was learning to get back on my emotional legs. I knew inside and out all the signs and red flags of a bad relationship, and I was on the lookout. With a wall so high and thick around my heart, it was guaranteed to keep everything in and everyone else out.
I didn’t have my guard up with you. I didn’t feel the need to. You asked why I agreed to our first dinner date and I replied with, “Because you’re safe and harmless!” And with that, I invited you in.
So it’s true when they say, “When you least expect it, love will find you.”
The air of naïveté that surrounded you, along with the glimmer of mischief in your lopsided grin, was enough to disarm any apprehension I had and for me to hand over to you my bruised and broken heart to heal. I pretended for 30 days that you meant nothing to me and that we were platonic in our relationship. In 30 days, you turned my life inside out and melted my heart. You taught me how to feel, showed me how to love, and I did it with you.
I made several feeble attempts to walk away. I hatched an even better plan, which was to get you to do the leaving. Every one of my half-assed efforts was because I was falling for you. Hard.
And so here I am without you.
No one to do crossword puzzles with or share the weighted blanket that relieved our masked anxieties that brought on your cold, wet, and clammy hands that once held mine. What I would give to turn back the clock to have you constantly interrupt me through episodes of Fleabag with unending editorial comment. I have a longing to share another slice of raspberry velvet cheesecake, a cup of cappuccino, and a hot chocolate as the crowds rung in 2020 in Time Square. If I only knew then, when you asked if it was too soon for a kiss, that I would be saying goodbye to you today, I would have said it’s never too soon.
I’m drenched in tears, pouring my heart out over the keyboard, heartache pulling at every keystroke, and there’s not a chance in the world that I want to stop crying for you, the loss of us, and the disappointment of hope.
As you closed the car door behind you, my heart shattered into a million pieces. How do I tell you that when you pulled and held me close, with every touch and stroke of my cheek, every muscle in my body seized as I doubled over and crumbled with the ache of knowing what I never had and missing that which I will never have again?
When you asked if I wanted the pain of losing us now or later, I would take that pain every day to share one more minute with you, all the while knowing that the end of us would be manufactured and inevitable.
My heart will always be here if someday you decide to find your way back.
Oh, and by the way, it was you. It was always you.
And oh, how I wish it were me.