We Didn’t Make It But Our Love Was Real

Unsplash / Christopher Campbell

I’m imagining myself ten, maybe twenty years from now.

I’m sitting at this café. It’s a bright day out, sunny, but not too warm. I’m with a friend of course, and we’ve probably been talking for quite some time already because my coffee is almost halfway done.

We came to the subject of people we’ve loved in the past, the ones when we were young and everything was raw and full of life.

I’d smile and think for a bit.

Then I’d recall the details one by one.

I’d tell her about this boy I once knew. I’d start off by saying he was gorgeous. No, gorgeous probably wouldn’t be the right word.

I’d tell her he was beautiful, how he was everything I imagined I wanted at the time and how he made me fall in love without trying.

She would ask me what he was like and I would list the things that I loved about him.

Slowly at first, like drawing water from a deep well, I’ll sift through memories of the time I had with him.

I’d start by telling her that he was brilliant. I would’ve used the word “smart” but somehow I can’t imagine a 40 year old version of me without him being more elegant with his use of words.

So, brilliant.

I would tell her that he was the most intelligent person I’ve ever dated at the time, and how that captivated me.

Then I’d run down stories of trips we’ve had together and how he was so different from anyone I’ve ever met before.

How he’s both an optimist and a cynic. How he always believes in looking for the things that were “helpful” and choosing to focus on those alone when he could. He was a great believer in positive psychology, though despite that he was still a great critic of things and people, most especially himself.

I’d tell her how vain and narcissistic he could get. But I’d smile and also tell her how awed by the greatness of other people he can be. How he was amazed by the goodness these people are capable of; by their talents or their actions. And how he always gave compliments where compliments were due. No matter how full of himself he could get he would still be the first to point out the best things about you, most of the time without realizing he had these same wonderful qualities himself.

Like how he would always tell me that I had a gentle heart, or how selfless I can be. He’d say this as if he didn’t have the same spark in him.

But he was so gentle, so kind.

He would often make me feel like I was the one thing in the world that could make him happy without fail.

And for me he was the one thing that could make everything better with just a smile; that peculiar smile of his when he looks at me.

Like he’s looking at a strange creature he would never get tired of knowing, of loving.

Of course, I would tell her how it didn’t work out. She would ask me why and I would try to go into detail. She would ask me why I gave up, why I didn’t fight harder.

If those days were as magical and unforgettable as I claim they were, why did I let go?

And I would answer with the simple truth.

“Because he needed me to.”

“Because I loved him.”

For the past few days I’ve been racking my brain for an answer. Trying to understand how something so beautiful could be swept away in an instant. Something that means so much to the both of us, cast aside.

I read some of the messages I sent you, talked with friends and family.

I wondered if any of it was real. If any of the things you told me, any of the feelings you showed me were real. Wondered if you meant those sweet words, those loving letters. I was breaking inside, waking up in sweats and panic, freezing with sudden grief at random moments.

To be honest, it was hell. Heartbreak in a way I haven’t faced before

Then it hit me.

They were real, every sweet word, every smile, every kind touch, real.

Every kiss, every promise, real.

Those were all things that you gave me, love that you gave me. And nothing and no one can disqualify them. No circumstance, no decision.

Nothing can take away the love that you blessed me with this year. The love that we shared.

Pain can blind a person almost as much as love can, and for that I am truly sorry.

Sorry that I doubted you, sorry that I believed you were mistreating me. Sorry that I wanted to blame you for everything that happened.

I wanted you to think. To come to a decision, that’s why I left you that night. And you did. It may not have been the answer I wanted, but if I meant what I said about only wanting what’s best for you, only wanting what would make you happy, then I should accept it.

You have shown me nothing but love and kindness. Our relationship wasn’t perfect, but I meant what I said when I told you that you make me so unbearably happy. I love you so, so much. And I would never stand in the way of your happiness.

If this is what you think you need, to do what you must, to fight for the life you dream of having, then I support you. With all my heart, I support you. With every bit of the love I have, I support you.

I know I said that if you do this, you might end up losing me.

I realize now that that can’t be true. I have given you parts of who I am that you will always have with you. Parts of me that I could never take back. Parts of me that I would never want to take back even if I could. Parts of me that I hope you’ll choose to keep.

You couldn’t lose me any more than I can lose you, because there will always be a portion of my heart that would keep the love you’ve given me forever.

I love you.

And because I love you I will let you go.

Let you go so that you can be great. Let you go so you can be who you need to be.

You are one of the bravest, most courageous, most authentic and most genuine people I know.

And you can do whatever it is in the world that your BIG heart sets you out to do.

Do not ever doubt it for a second. You are an incredible human being with an intellect only bested by his unyielding spirit.

I will forever be proud that at this charmed point in our lives, you chose to love someone like me.

Please keep this letter hidden somewhere if it pleases you. So that if there ever comes a time when you feel any doubt about who you are or what you can do, any doubt about how huge your capacity for love is, you’ll be reminded that somewhere out there someone loves you and believes in you.

Even when you forget how to believe in yourself.

That somewhere out there, when that person thinks of you, he always does so with a smile.

And that at one point in your lives, there was Magic. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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