When I first meet people, I’m often fascinated by the reason, by the possibility, by the promise of their purpose in my life. I catch myself wondering why we met the way we did, how our paths even bumped into each another, and whether or not that moment held significance.
After time, it’s even more exciting to look back. To see the reason, to see what that little slice of time meant for me or for them, for our growth, for the way we changed and shifted and learned and became different people.
But with you, I wasn’t sure what to think.
We found each other by accident—smiles shared across a crowded room, a little too much flirting, one too many drinks. I didn’t know whether you’d just be a blip on my timeline, or make some sort of impact. And at the time I didn’t know which I wanted.
All I knew was I liked the way you made me feel.
But we became something more. Time shifted in our wake, our paths readjusted to make room for one another, and I found myself falling into your pattern, matching step for step. You fell into my rhythm, too. You walked to my beat, rewrote some lines in your story to make sense in my pages.
We made it work, almost unconsciously. Until one day we woke up and realized this was love. This was how two people fell into one another—unintentional, easy, beautiful.
But we were messy, too. We fought like hell and stood our ground. We pushed and shoved our stubbornness down one another’s throats, then kissed the pain away.
We loved. We loved like hell.
But it wasn’t enough.
And sometimes when I think about it too much, I get so angry. Because I truly believed we could have been something. If we wanted it. If we pushed a little more, tried a little harder, gave a tiny bit of ourselves up for one another, for us.
But time and distance got the best of us.
And we both slipped into the shadows of each other’s lives.
I used to hate you for it. I used to blame you for the ways you didn’t measure up to the man I knew you had the potential to be. I used to be so upset over the promises you made that you didn’t keep.
Then I romanticized you, made you larger than life, wrote you to life in my journals, over and over again, wishing I could somehow rewind and bring you back to me. Bring it all back to how it was, as if it was perfect.
But we were never perfect.
And in the back of my mind I knew better.
Now, I watch the sunset. Now, I dream of a different love, a future love, a future life—maybe this one without you in it. Now I smile at the memory of us and I know I could never hate you, no matter how hard I try.
See, it doesn’t matter what happened between us, all the ways we fell apart, or even how we let go. Because I’ll forever be thankful for our little slice of time. You will always be a part of me, who I was and am.
I’ll always remember the way we kissed, the way we laughed, the way we were so young and dumb but believed something greater than ourselves. I’ll always hold our memories close—the places we traveled, the things we said, the poetry I wrote about your hand in mine.
I’ll forever be thankful for the way you helped to build me, to empower me, to teach me that love was possible, even though it’s hard.
I’ll always be thankful for the sliver of time I shared with you, despite the impermanence—because it was real.
So do I regret it, regret us, wish I could go back and change the way we ended? Maybe in some ways I always will, but I’m letting go now. I know that fate and faith will bring us together if that’s where we’re meant to be, and I’m not bitter anymore. Do I wish I could rewind and pull you back into my arms, kiss your lips one more time, say I’m sorry for being selfish? Maybe sometimes I do. But I think you know that. I hope you know that. I hope you know we’re apart for a reason, and that time will speak its truths to us eventually.
Do I wish I could tell you one last thing, give you one last memory to be forever imprinted in your mind? Yes, and I’d tell you this: What we had was real and messy and painful and beautiful. And no matter how far we’ve wandered from one another, and no matter how far we are still, I’ll always be thankful for you, and for every part of us.