“Goodnight,” you say, your voice carrying through the phone lines, warming me thousands of miles away. I picture the creases in your forehead, prominent from a long, tiring day. I imagine the stubble that’s poking its way through your skin, shadowing your face. I see the gentle curve of your smile as I whisper to you. I pretend you’re next to me, kissing sweet dreams onto my mouth.
You cannot be here, cannot be here to put your lips to my forehead, to tuck your arm around my middle, pull me closer to you. You cannot be here to watch the laughter shake my body, the tired blinks grow slower and slower in my eyes. You cannot be here to intertwine your hand with mine, to fall asleep to my steady breathing, in rhythm with yours. You cannot be here because life is complicated and sometimes dreams pull two bodies in different directions.
But we have accepted this chapter in our story.
This distance is merely a path in our adventure, to discover who we are without each other’s constant presence. To trust that we are strong enough to fight anything that tries to push us apart.
Our voices span oceans, busy streets, highways, and one-land roads where there is not a single light. Our thoughts fill the emptiness, and our phone calls replace the quiet that we suffer alone. Each time we put our ear to the receiver, we promise one another of who we are, who we will always be. Each time we hear the sound of one another’s voice, we are reminded that this is merely a page in the book of our lives together. And each line, each sentence, each word only writes a deeper love.
Distance has no power when it comes to us, carries no weight. We can be physically apart, we can long for one another’s touch, kiss, hand, but our love is deeper than skin.
Our love is the stories we tell with our eyes closed, or staring at the ceiling, listening through the cell phone static. Our love is the excitement we can feel, even through a receiver pressed to our ears. Our love is the recaps of long days, carefully remembered, detail by detail, to share. Our love is the words we never forget to say because each syllable is valuable, each letter makes the moments we miss a little easier. We can pretend we were there.
It’s hard. To know there are so many little things you won’t get to be a part of. To know that I’ll never have the privilege of knowing what you ate for breakfast, or the words your boss said to you during break. To know that you’ll never see the expression on my face when I read a letter from you, or when someone almost crashes into me the highway and it takes every cell in my body not to cry.
It’s hard to know that you’ll be gone on some days when I just need you here. That I won’t be able to easily get into my car and drive to you. That there will be things we don’t tell each other, simply because it’s easier that way, simply because we want to fill one another with light instead of dark. That some days I won’t want to do this anymore, and you’ll feel the same.
But we will. We will because we know this is the best thing for one another, for us. We will because we’ve battled so much already, we’ve come so far. We will because fear is just a wedge that we won’t allow to come between us. We will until we no longer have to.
We won’t let doubt destroy our love.
And we will remind one another that distance does not change the passion we have for one another. Distance does not rule over two beings who don’t want to be ruled. We will remind one another of all the hours, the days, the months we have put behind us. We will remind one another that our love knows no bounds.
We will fight back against the world that says love isn’t real, isn’t strong, isn’t forever. We will challenge every person who asks us, ‘why?’ We will believe in something far bigger than ourselves; we will believe in us.
And we will make it through.
To the days where we no longer have to be miles and cities and states and times zones apart. To the days where we no longer have to see each other’s faces through a pixelated screen. To the days where we can put our hands on one another’s cheeks and shoulders and arms and chests, feel our pounding heartbeats, united at last.
To the day where we can say, ‘distance has no power over us.’