I’ve thought long and hard about what to say to you, and how to say it. I’ve thought about all the long and heartbroken words I would spew from my lips like a broken dam finally letting loose the floods of a river long-built-up. I have sifted through the miles and miles of insignificant memories that have since grown so huge that they are all I can see. I have tried to fill my soul with every drug imaginable to fill up the blackness you left within me. I’ve tried drugs, alcohol, sex, material fulfillment, laughter and tears, communication and silence. Every night I have pushed you so far to the back of my brain I thought I could live a thousand lifetimes and you would never catch back up to the current thoughts that swim through my mind. Yet, every single morning when I awake, there you are. You are the very first light in the morning, and every turn of my head throughout the day. You are in everything and I try and I try to put my thoughts into something to say to quite express how I’m feeling but all I can say is…
You didn’t try hard enough. You hinted but you never came right out and said it. I never could tell if your advances were meant to be playful banter mixed in with your heartless remarks, or if you really meant it when you said that the reason that you didn’t have a heart was because you had gifted it to me all that time ago. You brushed everything off like nothing ever mattered, like your whole life could change in an instant and you wouldn’t even blink an eye. Yet, at the same time, you made sure that every single person in your life felt like the most important one. You were so complicated and confusing and hard to read, yet after six years, everything I felt was so simple. I loved you. I just never could tell if you loved me back. We could go for weeks at a time, and not speak a word. Then, you would come crashing back into my life like a tidal wave, encompassing me in your friendship once again, and pulling me out into your current, showing me how to embrace the flow and enjoy the swim; letting life take control for a while. We spent every day together for months, and you became a part of my routine. You became a part of me. When we went to that park and sat on top of the slide under the stars and you said you wanted to show me a song; When we both sat in silence as the Front Porch Step sang of unrequited love; When I couldn’t tell if you were showing me this song because you wanted the lyrics to mean something, or you simply enjoyed the melody; whatever the reason, in that moment I knew that I loved you. I knew that I would never love anyone as much as I loved you. But it was too late. Our friendship had grown so far and so deep. What if a profession of love ruined everything? Everything was so perfect.
And then you were gone. You left without so much as a warning. You were stripped from my life like a candle blown out during sleep by a stranger. Your glow and your warmth still surrounded me, but there was no flame. You left me in darkness, clinging to the last shred of warmth I could grasp from your fire. How selfish could you be? Didn’t you ever think about the impact your leaving would have on my life? Didn’t you ever consider that your actions had consequences for not only you? What am I supposed to do without you here? How am I supposed to go on without your light to guide me? How will I ever learn to ride the current of life, without your hand to hold for reassurance that I won’t float away completely? What am I supposed to do at three in the morning when I feel sick with sadness, or when I am overcome with anger and want to drive for hours and scream? How am I supposed to feel? How do I feel at all without you here? Why did you leave without telling me how you really felt, or at least giving me the chance to tell you that I loved you. Would it have even changed anything?
But you did. You told me every day. You told me that you cared when you dropped everything to be by my side. You told me that I mattered when you cancelled plans to make sure I wasn’t alone. You told me that you loved me when you said that you didn’t have a heart because you had gifted it to me, all that time ago. You gave me so many chances to love you back, but I was too foolish and scared to do it. And now, I could scream from the rooftops “I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU”, and you still wouldn’t hear me. I could call, text, and cry all I want, and you still couldn’t be by my side. Or could you?
I still feel the faint warmth and glow of your flame. I still hear those lyrics burning into my soul as more than a melody. I feel you in the wind. I hear you on the radio on my morning drives to work. I see you at the parks, sitting on the slides at three in the morning gazing at the stars. You are no longer here, yet you are everywhere. You are all around me, and you are within me. You left me, but you will always be with me. So I know, that even though I cannot look you in the eye, you still hear me when I say…
I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU.