I woke up with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia because you showed up in my dream last night. We had found ourselves in each other’s presence again, in Paris of all places. You were married, and had become the owner of quite a fancy restaurant in this foreign city; I was visiting for the moment, and we came upon each other by chance. Hard as I try now to grasp and hold on to the dream, I no longer remember the exchange of words between us, but I would never be able to forget how I felt.
It was the same feeling I always got; the heightened emotions and the involuntary belief that you and I were something special, that what we had was once in a lifetime and we had let go too easily. I laid there for a few minutes after my alarm went off, overcome by this familiar yet unwelcome feeling. I looked at him sleeping next to me, and was unable to reach over and kiss him like I usually do. Your presence in my head froze my body in place, disrupted me from my usual routine.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly two years since I was last in your arms, a place that I desperately and fervently wanted to stay in during that pivotal period in our lives. We were so passionate and so in love, but also young and more foolish. We each made choices that shaped the outcome of our story, which eventually led to our divergent paths. I don’t regret my decisions or blame you for yours, for they were exactly what we had wanted at those moments in time.
I miss you, but I don’t want the older and wiser you in my dream, nor the you in real life, whatever that form may be. I miss the you back then, the one who dared to kiss me in a crowded bar, who stole moments with me when no one was looking, who risked hurting others in order to inch closer to me. I was all you could see then, and nothing else mattered. We were reckless and even cruel to the people close to us, but we were blissfully happy because we finally had what we wanted for a long time – each other. We couldn’t maintain it, however, because it is not the passion that determines the longevity of a romance, but the sacrifices one is willing to make. And you and I weren’t.
We never had a clean start, or a defined break. He simply walked into my life at the appropriate moment, and I walked out of yours. For the longest time I wasn’t sure I could fully be over you, over the thought of us, over the idea that we had an epic love story to tell. But when I woke up from my trance of you this morning, I realized that I was. And I have been for a long time. You will always be significant, but I can be nostalgic for you and the memories we created, while my life simultaneously carries on without you.
I finally did kiss him this morning, returning myself to a familiar and peaceful routine. He makes me happy, and he’s the one I’m going to marry. He is everything I’ve ever wanted, and I’m thankful for the way life has turned out. I also hope that you learned from what happened with us and are not making the same mistakes with her. She gets to benefit from the loss of you and me, but I don’t mind, not anymore.