A friend whilst she was fighting a very aggressive form of cancer, once said to me, “Stop living in ‘forevers’ because forever isn’t yours to give away. All you have to your name is right now.” These words have stayed with me ever since, and every single one of my relationships have felt the jarring effects of a paradigm shift. My whole perspective on life, and on love is forever changed.
I walked into this relationship with you as a new version of myself, grounded when it came to love, so I won’t insult you with romantic promises that I cannot keep. There will be no forevers that will fall from my lips and no always that will destroy our love. You see, I have learned that the expectation of always and forever are what destroys even the closest and the best of relationships. I have understood that promises are impossible to keep because life and the universe is so unpredictable to us. I have been reading lately about how insignificant human beings are, on this tiny blue planet, lost in a massive galaxy of thousands of planets and stars that are thousands of times bigger than ours – and it’s this desperate bid to be great, to be grandiose, to be eternal that becomes the ultimate fall of our species. So no, I will refuse to promise you forever.
Instead, I promise you just now. Instead, I promise you the present, for it is the only gift we really have to give each other. In this moment, I promise to love you the very best I can possibly love you. In this second, I promise to give you my whole heart – free of the past loves that have broken it, and free of the future fears of if you might break it.
In this moment, I give you everything I can possibly give you. So let us do the best we can, live it to the fullest. In laughter, let us laugh more than we have ever laughed before, and in love, let us love more than we have ever loved before. We do not know tomorrow, so we cannot promise each other a thing we do not know. But tell me what you would like to do right now, and we will do it, no questions asked.
Let’s go for a long walk in the woods of your childhood, and you can recount your memories one by one. Let’s watch our favourite films back to back and not get out of bed at all. Let’s celebrate the moments rather than the years. Let’s get drunk on each other until we fall away into sleep in each other’s arms. I promise you a love like no other, a love without expectation, a love that loves you for all of you, a love without forevers but a love with roots that grew.
I don’t want forever. I want just now. I don’t want always. I want us to remember each other, and that’s all we can promise each other really, because in the end, that is all human beings can do.
We are small, and fragile and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. And the universe, nor time is ever going to wait for us or love us, or turn itself upside down so that we can be together. But that is just why it is so important for us to treasure each other in this moment, because this moment and each other is all we have.
For who knows if tomorrow will ever be the same? Who can tell if tonight is the last time we ever see each other again?
I would rather love you without the regrets forever brings with it, than regret loving you at all.
Want more writing like this? Check out Nikita Gill’s book Your Soul Is A River here.