Falling In Love Online: An Ode To What Never Became

 ArtistanShutterstock.com
ArtistanShutterstock.com

I knew we were doomed from the very beginning.

For years, you had been nothing more than a good friend and digital pen pal. We could effortlessly talk about almost anything. We understood each other. We shared a mutual respect. We picked up right where we left off, no matter how much time passed between our sporadic email chats.

Deep down, you were something of a blip on my radar. I loved talking to you. You made me feel heard and understood. And it certainly didn’t hurt that you were attractive, wise, talented, intelligent, honest, kind and interesting. But as far as I was concerned, you were far out of my league, not to mention far out of my region. You were in Canada. I was in Alabama. The idea of you and me turning into us never so much as crossed my mind – until the unexpected day it crossed yours.

I was wrapped around your finger within the first couple of weeks. You infiltrated my heart, my mind, my soul, and my life.

Common sense tried to tell me you were a bad idea, but common sense and I never much got along. I was drawn to you like a moth to a flame.

You loved me unconditionally. You made me stupidly happy. You were there for me. Who was I to run away from that?

Over the next few months, we fell into an odd and uncategorized semblance of a romance. But after awhile, digital messages and conversations through a computer screen weren’t enough. So we made plans to meet in person. Without reliving the gory details of what I had to go through to make that happen, we succeeded. It was tragically brief, but we succeeded.

Our meeting felt more like a reunion between two people who had been separated for too long. I couldn’t let go of you. You couldn’t let go of me. Time seemed to stop, and everything around us became background noise. We only got an hour and fifteen minutes together, but I’d like to think we made the most of it. I’m grateful for the experiences I was able to share with you. We held hands. We shared a meal. We kissed. Little did I know, we were only a couple of weeks away from crumbling into the void that had been threatening to swallow us from day one.

I wanted you to make me a priority, but you couldn’t. I wanted you to talk to me every day, but you didn’t. You said you couldn’t emotionally commit to someone over a thousand miles away, and I couldn’t entirely blame you.

It was a slow break; a crack here, a disagreement there, me wanting more, you giving less.

And when it all came to a head, I was heartbroken. I lost track of days. I cried so hard I couldn’t stand up straight. My appetite betrayed me. I overslept and underworked. I checked my phone excessively and was disappointed almost every time I did. We could no longer handle our inability to see each other, touch each other, be with each other. It was nothing short of inevitable.

Unlike most fallouts, I didn’t grieve what once was. I grieved what could’ve been. I grieved what I always hoped we would get to experience together, no matter our circumstances.

You won’t get to take me to Providence, Rhode Island. I won’t get to make you a warm cup of tea after the Blue Jays lose or you don’t get that gig you wanted. I won’t get to refer to you as my boyfriend or hear you refer to me as your girlfriend.

You won’t get to play with my hair for hours, and I won’t get to give you a back rub after a long day. We won’t get to make love or fall asleep to the sound of each other’s heartbeat. I won’t get to sit front row at one of your solo shows and clap after every song, even if nobody joins me. You won’t get to come to my first book signing or celebrate with me when I get published. I won’t get to meet your dad., and you won’t get to shake my mom’s hand.

We won’t get to have that movie night or stay in bed all day listening to progressive rock records from the 70s. I won’t get to see where you came from, and you won’t get to see where I came from. You won’t get to wipe my tears when I cry or fix me when I feel broken.

I hope I someday find a love that isn’t cursed by the injustice of long-distance. And I hope that new woman in your life, though she came much too soon, is able to give you everything I couldn’t. TC mark

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