Once, she was your everything—your world revolved around her, and hers around you. She knew all your hopes and dreams and fears back when that’s all life still was: hopes, dreams and fears.
You couldn’t have imagined her as anything else. Even back in that ‘getting to know each other’ phase, she was a puzzle piece that seamlessly fit into the jigsaw of your life. You felt you had known her not for weeks but for years. After so many mornings ‘wasting time’ by sleeping in late, laughing, talking, tickling, and poking, you become more than just two people who dig each other and the body that’s attached to them. You become a team, Bonnie and fucking Clyde versus the world. Your life no longer becomes just yours to live.
You crossed that line somewhere after the drive down to Big Sur where you nearly flew off a cliff half a dozen times because another second passed without kissing her was a second too long. And again after that day trip to San Francisco, the day you chose romanticism over responsibility to no regret, and you tore apart the city fueled by Pier 39 mini donuts and Ghirardelli chocolate.
It happened after those serious moments, like the time you felt like utter shit after a midterm and you thought you were going to fail the class and get kicked out of the major and flunk out of school and live in a box on Pacific Avenue… All you had to do was show up at her house and with one look in your eye she knew everything that was wrong but made it all better in an instant. There was still everything else, but you had her.
And then there’s spring break. That night riding home in the back of your brother’s car after not seeing her for nearly a week. Hands and arms and limbs entwined, you couldn’t squeeze her tight enough; couldn’t have enough of her skin touching yours. And those eyes. She looked at you with those “I’ve never wanted anyone or anything more in this life than I want you right now” eyes. And the more you soaked them in, the more you reciprocated that same desire, the more you lost yourself in her. She had her hold on you. It took every ounce of control not to take her right then and there in the back seat of that car. Somehow you restrained, only to fan the flames of the fire that roared between you two later that night long into the morning hours.
Those aren’t memories you share with just friends.
The hardest of it all to swallow was that you were the one to pull the trigger. As incredible as everything was with her, as much as you understood her and she you, somehow you knew she wasn’t the one for you. How could you love someone more than anything else and know that you’re not destined to be together? You’re not always that wise when you’re young, but somehow you just knew.
As graduation came and went and your lives relocated apart, you wanted to make it work and even tried to make it work. Time passed however. Slowly at first, but gradually it sped up as the 5-foot-something cut out of her in your life began to fill up again.
Eventually, your worldly foresight evolves in those post-grad months to the heartbreaking conclusion that caring for her might just mean letting her go. For her to embrace the next chapter of her life, it might just mean doing so without you by her side.
But you’re still going to be friends. At least thats what you tell yourselves at first. Because at that moment, everything’s so fresh. Going an entire day without seeing or speaking to the other person let alone another lifetime seems unimaginable. You’re still the single most important thing in her world, even if now the importance is smeared with pain and heartbreak.
But days and weeks and months came and went as your new life took shape without her. Until one weekend you visit a friend up north and run into her at a party, and she looks at you not with those eyes that you used to know, the ones soaking in every inch of the greatest thing in her world—but her normal, friendly eyes, and you know it will never work. Now that she’s no longer your everything, she has to be nothing. You and she can never be friends.