In all the time we spent fucking, I don’t think it’s fair to say that we ever made love. I did love you, more than I cared to understand at the time, and now, in your absence, I convince myself that I still do. And when you told me you loved me, I don’t think I had any doubts. But that’s not what we were doing.
You were my safety net, my secret, my project, my muse. All of my best writing was done when I was upset with you (which was often). My biggest mistakes were made when I was trying to get your attention. I always pushed myself the hardest when I thought it might impress you. Even now, I still wonder what you must think. But I’d be damned if I ever let on that you were that important to me. I cared the most about never letting you know how much I cared.
And so you constantly sought my praise and then convinced yourself you didn’t need it, because there I was making a game out of us, teasing you with gold stars that I would give to others instead. But through it all you showed up, you smiled at me, you held me, you told me you loved me. Yes, you did love me, and I did love you too, and I know that now. But beyond that, we were in awe of each other. We were saving each other. We craved each other because we could never understand each other. You always brought out that adventurous side in me.
When I think of what it was we were doing, the action word that comes to mind isn’t “dating,” but rather “trying.” We always had something to work on. To cross paths, to find common ground, to stop shouting, to come at the same time. We needed lots of work. It was a marathon being with you, and every time we rounded a corner, the finish line moved further away. We were always so close, almost there, maybe this time, maybe next time. Maybe in a few days, maybe in a year, maybe in ten years, things will work out. We wanted that. We were always exhausted, frustrated, and confused, while we wanted so badly for us to work out. For us to be happy. But in all the time we spent fucking, I really don’t think we ever were.
You seem really happy with her.