I think sometimes we are convinced if we can see the ending of something before it begins that we’ll wish it had never began in the first place. That if we knew something was going to fall apart, or drift away from us, that we would never ask it into our lives. That we would want it to go before it could ever think about staying.
But right now, even though I can feel us fading, I need you to know how much I don’t want you to go.
Whenever I laid eyes on you for the first time, everything in me shook. I remember knowing at that moment that if you and I crossed paths, that it was going to change my life. There were no promises on whether that would be a good thing or a bad thing, but when you glanced my way and smiled, I couldn’t imagine how it could be anything other than incredible.
And in so many ways, I was right.
You were everything I never knew I was missing out on. You and I knew how to bring out the best in each other, as well as the worst- but we always used those dark moments to learn and grow. You seemed to understand me in a way I never thought love was capable of doing. You saw past my insecurities and my fears and just saw me. You never asked me to change, but you would call me to be better whenever I tried to make excuses for my bad days. You didn’t run away whenever I fell apart, and you held me close while I put myself back together.
Even on our worst days, I was still so thankful that someone like you existed, and that you were existing right there beside me. I believed that the love we had was the strongest thing the universe ever dared to create and that nothing could truly break it apart.
But I can see the way your eyes look now when they glance my way. It’s not hate or aggravation. It’s just indifference. There is still some light there, like you’re reminiscing on an old photograph, or hearing a line to a song you used to keep on repeat constantly. But it’s not the same- it’s as if you somehow already look at me as part of your past, even though we’re still in the same room.
I can sense the distance between us, even when you have your arm around me, or your hand is in mine. It’s as if space crept its way between our bodies slowly, but deliberately. It feels like you’ve forgotten I’m flesh and blood that thrives on warmth and connection. It feels as if you don’t think I can notice the difference now.
I can hear the change in your voice. How the laughs are softer, more distant now. How the smiles still show up but aren’t as wide. I can sense when you’re trying to listen to me, but your mind is somewhere else. I try to pretend it’s just an off day, but I can only tell myself that for so long when bad days turn to bad weeks, bad months.
I think you still love me somewhere. I guess if you didn’t, you wouldn’t stay. I think you want to love me the way you used to, and I’ve been telling myself if we can just wait a little longer, that love will come back again.
But the reality is setting into my bones now- not all great loves last. Not all romances bounce back. With every fiber of my being, I want to fight for us, grab your shoulders and beg you to try with me. And I could easily do that.
But I don’t want a love I have to beg for, even one as incredible as ours.
I know every couple goes through its rough seasons. I don’t give up easily, and I will stick things out to weather any storm. I believe in doing everything you can to make something last. Yet I also understand that both people have to want to do those things. It can’t just be one person trying to hold everything together by the seams.
When I finally told you I could feel you drifting, I know you wanted to deny it. But we both couldn’t keep pretending or avoiding the truth. You told me you love me, and I believe that. But love isn’t always enough.
I don’t regret loving you- it was the best choice I ever made. It won’t be something that disappears overnight, and I don’t want it to. I learned more about myself than I could’ve ever dreamed. I realized how much love I have to give to someone. I learned what it was like to be loved by someone in such a beautiful, memorable way. I know I’ll have a hard time coming across something like us again, but it doesn’t mean I won’t try. It doesn’t mean I would ever trade who we were.
Letting you go will be the hardest choice I ever make because I’m saying goodbye to a piece of my heart that I never thought would leave. I’m admitting that there isn’t anything left I can do to fix us, that I understand people shouldn’t always try to fix things when they break. It’s recognizing that sometimes the best thing is to let a person go before the resentment sets in. Before all my perfect memories of us are replaced by bitterness and hurt on why you didn’t try to save us, too. It’s hoping that if I keep the memories of us perfect, we’ll never forget them.
I hope, no matter how hard it might be sometimes, that we never want to.