This morning I Googled the distance between us. 2,490 miles. I guess I wanted something tangible, a number I speak aloud. I let the syllables fall softly from my tongue, spoke the space between us aloud in the quiet of my apartment. Maybe if I knew the exact number, it could somehow make this easier, somehow make it seem like you’re right here.
Distance is dizzying. One second I’m counting down the days, the next I’m angry at the universe for pulling us apart. Some nights I can close my eyes and picture your face in absolute detail—the little curve of your smirk, the tiny line underneath your left eye. I can feel the stubble under my fingertips, taste the softness of your lips pressed against mine. And some nights I wrack my brain for any picture of you. I try so hard to remember how your voice sounds when I wake you from a deep sleep, or how your hands feel resting on my hip. And it feels like I’m creating stories in my head, just to make this easier.
You hang up the phone and I imagine you walking around your apartment, brushing your teeth, falling asleep to the sound of the television. I write myself into your pages—sharing the bathroom mirror, my toothbrush next to yours, my body curled up against the warmth of you.
Sometimes I hate this—the space, the unknown, the way we are so physically apart, trying to patch the holes with words and photographs and snippets of one another’s lives. Sometimes I hate not being there for the little things, not getting to rub your shoulders when they’re sore or kissing you goodnight. Sometimes I hate that you’re not here to share my dinners, to snuggle up on the couch, to watch the sunset fade over the cliffs near my apartment. Sometimes I hate this, all of it.
But that could never ruin my feelings for you.
This was the chapter we promised one another, and nothing will tear apart the pages. This wasn’t the easy plotline we planned for, and yet, nothing will change the fact that we are here, writing it together.
There are miles between us. There are times zones. There are clouds and mountains, ocean waves and highways between us. There are mornings when you wake and my head’s still on the pillow, evenings where you’re saying goodnight while I’m still eating dinner. There are a thousand ways we will be frustrated and lonely and exhausted.
But if I can promise you one thing, it’s this—nothing will change my love for you.
Maybe tomorrow this will be easier. Maybe we’ll have glimpses of a future and it won’t hurt so much. Maybe when we video call I’ll see your face, and suddenly I won’t have to work so hard to remember the way you smile, or the sound of your laughter filling the room.
Maybe we’ll fall into old patterns, the rhythm of our voices so effortless it’s like we’re sitting on the couch, interrupting one another and stopping all conversation just to kiss.
Maybe we’ll plan moments in the future to see one another, and we’ll count down the days on the calendars, forever hopeful instead of lost.
Maybe we’ll save up all our kisses so that when we fall into one another’s arms every bit of our love will pour out like ink bleeding from a pen. Maybe it won’t matter that there have been days, weeks, nights, gravel roads, rivers, stoplights, oceans, and time zones between us—we’re still here, still breathing, still believing, still loving the hell out of one another, still writing a beautiful story—no matter what.
Maybe the miles are merely a number.
And I won’t let them separate my love for you.