I searched for him. In crowds of unfamiliar faces; in the coffee shop where I’d spend my lunch break reading; in the mundane text messages that filled my phone yet left me empty. I searched for the feeling. You know the one I’m talking about, right? The feeling that’s been the topic of at least a zillion songs, novels, and Hallmark cards.
Your heart skips a beat at the sound of their key unlocking the door to your cozy studio apartment. You don’t mind the small space, embracing this chance to get a front row seat to a show seen by so few. Their quirks only further your belief that they are literally perfect. And though you aren’t scared of many things, the thought of waking up one morning tangled in bedsheets rather than entwined in their arms is enough to send chills down your spine.
I searched for him. But the ones before him left scars deeper than a few band aids could heal. See, I cared a lot once. And it ruined me.
So I taught myself not to care at all.
I sat across from starry-eyed boys chatting about the weather and their distaste for black licorice. I giggled at witless humor, offering sentiments of my own only when I feared he would see the indifference in my eyes. My love was merely a façade to prove I could love, and that I could be loved in return. The truth was I no longer believed in the feeling I searched so hard for.
But then I saw you.
And suddenly, on this ordinary day that began like so many others, I felt a twist in my gut and a punch in my chest. My heart raced, beating out of me so much so that I swore you could tell. I was thankful for this moment. For this feeling of pure excitement and life that had become a stranger to me. I never imagined I would get more moments like this with you. But there we were weeks later, lying on the chilled grass of your favorite spot gazing at the stars, talking about anything and nothing and everything in-between.
Maybe I was scared I fell too hard for someone too fast. Maybe I feared you didn’t, or couldn’t, feel the same for me. Maybe I ached to tell you the darkest parts of myself in my need to be understood. Or maybe I pushed you away to protect you from them. Maybe we were nothing. Or maybe we were just a moment away from something.
Maybe we’ll never know.
Love was not an easy thing to find, but it sure was easy to lose.