Love is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?
Taking over our minds and hearts, driving us crazy, making us feel heart-pounding excitement and jaw-clenching anxiety and the warmth of bliss all mixed together.
I fell in love with you.
There, I said it. I’m not afraid.
I’m not afraid to tell the world that I needed you, that you meant everything to me, that our lives were intertwined for a moment, that our love had the promise of forever tied to it with ribbon, a ribbon that loosened and unraveled over time.
See, love is imperfect, despite how we pretend it’s the answer to all we’re looking for, all we need. Yes, it’s beautiful, but that doesn’t mean it won’t fail sometimes. Won’t fail when we’re holding onto it the tightest.
See, the two of us—we sparked and we burned—and then we burned out.
We were the flame that flickered towards the end; the candle that hit the wick. We used to be so bright but we faded. Sometimes change and stubbornness and distrust do that to even the strongest of lights.
Sometimes you lose what you had so you learn to let go.
And you did, didn’t you.
You found ways to distract yourself, new hands to hold. You moved on like what we were wasn’t anything, like I wasn’t the brightest star in your universe.
But I can’t be mad at you.
Sometimes love does funny things to the way we think. Sometimes love gives us the strength to let go when we least expect it.
I’m not bitter.
But don’t you worry your head over me. I’m not sad either. I’m not spending my days looking into the mirror, hating my reflection because I can no longer see you. I don’t see my life stretched out before me, long and empty without you in it.
I’m no longer hanging onto the possibility of you like a lucky coin in my back pocket. Our time has come and gone and I only think of you when I stumble upon our memories.
You were the love I once had, the love that no longer aches in the deepest part of my heart. I’m over you.
And I’ll be fine.
So don’t you worry about me. I have plans outside the realms of who we were. I have dreams that extend far beyond what we had planned. The corners of my mouth are no longer turned down; they are curved into a smile that welcomes the world. A smile that will even find its way onto my face when I see you, because I hold no remorse.
Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.
Our love is like a stain—something permanent, but something I’ll only see if I look for it, if show it to the world, if I pull it from the back of my memory.
A stain only marks the surface. And I will continue without thinking of you, without aching or longing.
The thing about stains is that they become a part of you, but they don’t define you.
You learn to cover them up, to blend them in, to make them a part of your outfit. Or you learn to simply put that shirt aside and wear something completely new.
So don’t worry your pretty little head over how I’m feeling.
Yes, I loved you, and a part of me always will. No, I’m not over you just yet, because things like that take time. But in the meantime, I’m not crying over you. I’m not hiding my face or sitting by myself alone, afraid and empty.
I’m living my life because there is more to me than us.
And there always will be.
So bury yourself in whatever you need—vices, new faces, kisses—but don’t you spend time wondering what I’m doing. I’m continuing my life without you, chasing things that make me as happy as your smile once did.
I’m finding my own light, my own candle.
My own spark that will only burn out if I let it.
And I won’t let it.