Last year wasn’t the first time I had fallen in love with someone, but it was the deepest I’ve ever loved someone. I was in love with my actual best friend. It was the stuff that you read about and saw in the movies. At the time, it was everything I could have ever asked for. It was the deepest I had ever been in love, and I was willing to fight and do anything for my love.
We had talked about everything. Our pasts. What scared us. What we wanted for our futures. What we wanted to do together. We had plans that we laid out together, giggling when we thought of silly things and blushed when the other said something incredibly sweet. We named the kids we wanted to have together. We named the two huskies and the two cats we wanted, and why we wanted them. We looked up how to legally get a fox and I really imagined us with this full house of kids and animals, and I couldn’t wait to grow old with you in the house that we already talked about what colors we wanted to paint the walls of.
I haven’t loved you for a long time. I fell out of love after you did. But we weren’t meant to be together, and that’s okay. Because I think what the most important thing that you could have done for me, is for the first time in my life, the thought of forever wasn’t enough time to have with you. I wanted more time with you. The thought of death and dying…it tore me apart. The thought of having to live the rest of my life without you in my world was the most devastating thoughts that I had ever thought. And it was a thought that I had more than once while we were together. I dreaded the thought of losing you a lot throughout the months of our relationship, and it was something that I never thought about when dating and being in love with other people before you. But after we broke up, after I began falling out of love, after I started getting over you and became myself again, it was something that I thought about less and less. I hadn’t thought about that thought, or us in months.
Then it happened.
This week, while I was at work, I was on the phone with a member. He was older than my dad by a few years, and while helping with him, my heart broke. He lost his wife earlier this year, and he was still trying to finish taking care of her assets. It had been months, and the way he still spoke about her was like he was waiting for her to come home after a long trip away. The pain in his voice… I was so glad that I was talking on the phone and it wasn’t face-to face, because I was crying at my desk, trying to wipe the tears from my cheeks before anyone could see.
It wasn’t that I was crying because I missed you. It was because what he was going through, that was the worst fear I had while I was in love. It was heartbreaking to see someone else living this nightmare that I never wanted anyone to ever go through.
For the rest of the week, I would think about it. I would think about it while I would drive home from work. I would think about it while I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep. I would think about it when a song about love would come on the radio. It was something I couldn’t stop thinking about. It wasn’t like this was the first person who had dealt with losing the person they wanted to be with forever. There had been so much death and destruction since we broke up that it didn’t make sense. I didn’t think about this after the Las Vegas shooting in October, and I didn’t think about it when I would meet with my therapist I was seeing after the breakup and the shooting happened within weeks of each other. It was an event where so many people lost loved ones, but it wasn’t a thought that crossed my mind then.
After we broke up, I wasn’t looking for anything serious. I didn’t want anything serious. I had been locked into serious relationship after serious relationship for the past two years when we broke up. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to explore. I needed to take time for myself. I pushed away all the memories, good and bad, and the memories that would find themselves on the surface were always the bad ones. They were always the fights and the memories from the end. They were the insecurities I always told myself were just me thinking the worst. So, I guess that it kind of makes sense in a way, why I wouldn’t remember the fear of losing the person you love most in the world.
So, after I was done helping the man, I locked my computer and walked outside and sat on one of the benches for a few minutes. The pain this man had truly broken my heart, and there was nothing I could do to besides helping him finish with his late wife’s assets. I couldn’t do anything else. I could only imagine myself in his place, losing the one person I chose to be with forever, and then they were gone. How do you even do normal day-to-day things? I wasn’t even exclusively dating someone, and there was still someone I wanted to talk about my day with and listen to them talk about their day.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why you were the first person I ever had this fear with. You weren’t the first person I talked about forever with. I planned a life with others before you. The only thing I could come up with is that I didn’t ever really think about it before because I wasn’t actually ready to be someone’s forever person until I was with you. And, while I don’t want to be your forever person, and I’m still working through the pain that came with you, the fear of being someone’s forever person and losing them or worse… them having to lose me, that is what is tearing me up inside.
I know I’m not ready to be anyone’s person right now. But I can’t help feeling that every day that passes that I’m still not ready that I’m losing time with the person I’m supposed to be with. I have this fear that with all the death and destruction that’s going on in the world, something is going to happen after I find the person I’m supposed to be with. It’s something that even though I’ve only been thinking about this for a few days, that I can’t stop going back to. But I know that this is only going to help me love the next person I do love.
I don’t miss you. But I’m grateful for the way I was able to learn to love while I was with you. And I know that it’s going to only help me love the person I’m supposed to be with more. I know when I’m with them that I’m going to love them the way they deserve, but I’m also going to live every moment with them like it’s the last because that’s what they deserve.