When The One Thing You Want Is The One You Can’t Have

“Never regret thy fall,
O Icarus of the fearless flight

For the greatest tragedy of them all
Is never to feel the burning light.”
— Oscar Wilde

It’s nighttime. The sky hangs like a gigantic black blanket above me, with the stars sprinkling across it like twinkling fairy dust. I am in love with the night. I love the way the light, brisk air encompasses you and I love the feeling of being the only person in the world, as everyone is tucked away, sleeping cozily in their beds, in their own little dream-worlds. I love being able to count my breaths, one by one, letting the night air fill my lungs. But I can feel the dawn approaching. The sun will be coming out soon. The sun will slowly creep over the horizon, eventually blazing brightly in the sky. As I see the bright oranges and yellows being painted into the sky, I know that soon, I will have to get my wings ready. While I would love for the night to accompany me again so that I can have a few more hours of peace and rest, I know that the sun is my true destiny. It’s funny how that works; sometimes all we want is some peaceful moments, without all of the hustle and bustle of the outside world, yet in the end, the chaos is what drives us. The sun is my destiny, my purpose. Every day, even when I’m exhausted and drained from chasing it the day before, I can’t stay away. I will forever fly towards to the sun, no matter what it costs me, no matter how many times I get burned. I will fly towards the sun until I eventually set myself on fire, burning and blazing in the sky until there is nothing left of me.

I can’t stay away from you. The obstacles are endless for us. Every logical part of me knows that this will end badly, most likely with my heart ripped into shreds, without any possible way to put it back together. But I am drawn to you. Everything about you fascinates me in ways that I have only read about. The humorous thing about it is, I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about you that has bewitched me so. Is it your sweet laugh that you emit when I make a stupid joke? Is it your face, the one that makes my heart skip a beat every time I see it? Is it your sexy, deep voice that I only hear late at night when we’ve been talking for hours and we’re both becoming sleepy? Is it the anticipation that I feel every time I even think about seeing you? Whatever it is, it has consumed me. Since the day we met, my heart has been yours. My mind is yours. My body is yours. You have acquired the entire package that is “me”, and you didn’t even have to try very hard to attain it. 

There have been so many times that we left. We walked away with no intentions of coming back. Deep down, I think we have tried walking away because we know this could never work. There is always too much; too much going on, too much distance, too much arguing, too much loving, too much doubting. Too much. We would go about our lives, going through the motions, yet we somehow always find our way back to each other. Why can’t we stay away from each other when we already know what the finale consists of? One or both of our hearts will be broken. There’s honestly no way around it. 

What do you do when the only thing that you want is something that a) is bad for you and b) is something you can never truly have? I’ve never experienced this kind of desire, this need. You hijack my day-to-day thoughts and spread through them like a plague. The littlest thing reminds me of you, and then I’m sent into a tailspin of memories and feelings about you. I want you so desperately. My heart is your plaything, to pick up and tinker with when it amuses you and then place on the shelf when you’re bored. Meeting you has been the best thing and the worst thing to happen to me. You opened my heart after a long period of it being locked away, closed for business. I will always be grateful for that. But the treacherous part that came along with that is the fact that you have made me weak. I’m not strong enough to let you go. I’m not strong enough to steal my heart back and hide it from you, disabling you from ever finding it again.

So, I will keep flying. Every morning, when the scorching sun makes its way into my sight again, I will strap on my wings and take flight. I want to bask in its radiance and feel the warmth on my bare skin. The intensity of its luminance is so enticing, I’m afraid I will never be able to deny it. I will ignore everyone’s warnings, just like Icarus, and I will keep trying to fly as close to it as possible. I know this makes me look like a Class A Idiot and not the intelligent person that I am, but when I see its fiery rays, I could not care less. The sun may not be good for me; it may give me hideous burns and it may hurt like hell, causing me to realize that it doesn’t love me back. Chasing it may cause me to miss out on the beautiful stars that light up the night sky. In fact, in reality, the sun is just a star. However, the sun that I am so fervently chasing is the closest one. My entire solar system revolves around this star. If I dared to travel farther, I may just find that the rays from another star don’t hurt. In fact, I might find that I can reap all the wonderful benefits that I gain from my sun, without all of the pain and exhaustion.

I am quite certain that I will be end up being burned to ashes from pursuing this. I will end up charred and broken, from loving the sun too much and only wanting to be close to it. Maybe someday I will find the strength to move on to other stars. But until then, I will continue to fly dangerously close to you, my brilliant sun. TC Mark

Maureen is a 20-something pre-med student at the University of Central Florida. She hopes to one day become a neurosurgeon. She enjoys running, writing, being a hot mess, and complaining about the weather. Email her: maureen.townsend09@gmail.com

More From Thought Catalog