I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with you. You were dangerous eyes and a quick temper. You were argumentative and stubborn and so wonderfully compassionate. I got lost in those eyes and felt safe in those arms.
We began as nothing. I told myself we were just having fun. That smiles were because we enjoyed each other’s company. That kisses were playful. That we were happy, not falling.
I never meant to kiss so deeply. I never imagined that your arms around me would feel like home. And I don’t know if you did either. Maybe it was a line we accidentally crossed, dancing in a bar just a little after midnight, the voices around us all melting away. Dancing, spinning, spinning. Or maybe it was when we explored each other’s minds on a couch in your living room, confessing secrets we’d been too afraid to share. Opening slowly, learning to trust again.
I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with you, but I did. Layer by layer. And I think you did, too. It happened exactly like the world says, slowly, then all at once. Suddenly we were sharing pillows and paychecks and dreams. Suddenly those three words, the ‘I love yous’ whispered at night, in the morning, as I dropped you off, when you picked me up, carried incredible weight.
But then we unfolded, as beautiful things often do. We were both at fault, maybe more than we wanted to admit. We fought hard. Me with words. You with those dangerous eyes, that quick temper. We cracked, shattered into tiny pieces that were too difficult to put back together, but a part of me still believed.
But then came the heartbreak. It was unexpected, yet a part of me knew it was inevitable. I had fallen. I was breakable. I wasn’t supposed to be in love with you. I wasn’t supposed to be hurt. But I was, just the same. And you had transformed into someone I no longer knew, someone I didn’t think you were anymore, someone I never thought you could be. It broke me. It unraveled me into little threads of myself. Little fragments of my heart that I knew would take so long to mold back together.
But I forgave you.
In time. After tears. As I woke to the sun on a new day and saw the freedom, the lifted weight on my heart, in forgiving you. You were the boy with dangerous eyes, with arms that sheltered me. You were the boy whose home I discovered, whose heart I opened. The boy who had held my own heart in his hands. Together we had re-learned how to love, how to let someone in when you are still fragile, still scared. We had fallen in love. And because of this, I am forever thankful.
I am thankful for poolside drinks, for dog walks, for drives with the windows down. I am thankful for the swing you built me in the backyard, for the smell of your deodorant, for the picture frame in your room with the photos of us, laughing, smiling, dancing, spinning, spinning.
You broke my heart, but I am forever thankful. For the moments, the memories, the kisses, and the accidental falling that happens when you close your eyes, when you let it. For what I learned in losing you: what I deserve, the immensity of my strength, my capacity to love, to let go. For you. I hope you know that you are forgiven. But I still hope when you kiss her, you taste me. And I hope that one day you forgive yourself.