In a perfect world, maybe we would have grown up together. We would live next to each other by a huge field where we would run around as kids. Come high school, we’d still meet up after school, staying up all night in the same field talking about our mutual friends and our life plans. We would talk about our secrets and our problems, like we always do. Except in this world, our problems are small and insignificant. We would play in the lake nearby, you hold my hand tight walking there through the mud and the rocky path because I am afraid of falling. Maybe that is where we would realize we love each other.
You and me, walking back home hand in hand. My parents tell me off for staying out with you so late. They would be secretly happy, though, because in this perfect world, they love you and they trust you. In this perfect world, my parents welcome you with open arms every time you walk into the house. You would be my brother’s best friend and my sister would be in love with you. We would go to my family gatherings and my grandmother would fuss over you, making sure you are always comfortable. My aunts would adore you and they would ask me when we are going to get married. I laugh them off saying I’m still young, but in my mind and in my heart, I have no doubt we are going to get there.
We would get married straight after graduating college and I would join you as you finish law school and I part-time in some office. We would struggle to make ends meet and most months we would not be able to. We fight all the time, but we are strong enough to hold it together.
Can you imagine our babies? They would have your crazy curly hair. They would have my eyes and my drive. Maybe they could inherit your cool. Your rational personality. These kids, they’re you and me, and I am already in love with them. Maybe on school breaks, we would go camping in the lake where we fell in love. We would have a huge lawn where we would play with the kids on the weekends, having picnics. I’d wipe of the mud on our little boy’s knees because he just fell and he is crying. You are holding our baby girl, feeding her, singing lullabies with that god-awful singing voice of yours. We would send them off to first day of school together, then college, then marriage. Your arms around my shoulder, proud smiles plastered on our faces.
In that perfect world, when we are old and grey, you would be there sitting next to me. And I would fuss over our grandchildren and you would roll your eyes. We would celebrate the milestones together, 40, 50 years when other couples barely make five. We would manage because you love me and I love you. And whatever happens afterwards, we know we made it. I would not dream of asking for more.
But we are not there. And you are not with me. And I can dream. For those ten minutes I would be the happiest person. But that dream will end and I will be back here, in the real world. Where we grew up in completely different environments, across the world from each other. Where you are not the person my parents want for me. Where we are no longer even in the same time zone. Where our time together has always been made to end. We see people in similar situations coming together and making it work. They are the exceptions, but we will never be one of them. We would never survive through these obstacles. There is you and there is me. And if there was only the two of us, we could be perfect. But there is also everything else. You are never going to fit into my life, nor my family, nor my society.
I know that. Now I just need to accept it.