We met when I was young, ignorant, nonchalant. I didn’t know any better but to try to mold myself to follow gender norms, fashion blogs, stick-thin legs. I didn’t know what love was or how to do it. We had dreams we knew we’d never reach, then, but it didn’t matter because at least we had dreams at all.
You first told me you loved me on a February afternoon. I don’t know if we knew what love was, yet, but we were learning. We were learning together and that’s what made it matter more that we might not have known what love was yet, but we wanted to.
I was sixteen then. We were full of daydreams and wonders of the summers to come. We lay out on my front lawn more often than not gazing at the constellations. We never talked about our scars but we always kissed them. There was beauty in loving untold secrets, even though they were hardly untold.
We learned about love slowly but I still did not understand the concept of loving myself. I did not know how to love such a sickly soul. I was suffering then. I barely suffer now because of how you taught me to fall in love with all of my blemishes.
Sometimes, you would kiss my left arm and tear up. Now you barely notice it because it is not who I am anymore. You and I both know that, and that is what matters.
We are still young now. I still suffer from a painless hatred against many blemishes. You still hold me from time to time while I panic and cry. We are hardly growing up, but it is happening too damn quickly. I saw a couple today. They were like us, but four years ago. How time really flies by is a mystery, a horror, terrifying. How we talk about our three children so casually now, but in ten years, they might be real, they might be ours.
I would never have survived this life without you. You are a breath of fresh air. You are a flower in a sea of weeds. You are an imperfect perfection and I don’t know how I was so lucky to find you.
You taught me that I was allowed to find sorrow in some things, but that I had to find happiness in others. You taught me to sing as loudly as I could, even though I had a terrible voice. You taught me to run and run and run as far as I could, but to always come home, because home is where I truly belonged.
You have suffered more than anybody I know. But you displaced your pain in place of my love for myself. You put me above yourself, above your happiness. You put me in the palm of your hand and you let me dance. You had the power to destroy me, but instead you taught me that love is not a cliché. Love is not a simplicity or a story.
Still dreaming, but making those dreams a life and a paradise together.
So this is for you. To the boy who is no longer a boy. To the old soul, no matter how young you might be. To the person who taught me that love is a painless perception, and it can be however real we want it to be.
Thank you for giving me a fairytale in the midst of a nightmare and for ripping that nightmare away like a bandaid.
Thank you for loving me so much that you shed that love on to myself.
Now I hope I can do that same thing for you.