When The One You Love Isn’t The One You’re With

He was a quiet, thoughtful boy, whose soft blue eyes met mine whenever he laughed. He never raised his voice, and when he cried it was only for the person he wanted to be.

We met in an ordinary way, introduced by a friend of a friend, but began something out of the ordinary, anti-traditional in its every secret meeting and intimate detail, right down to his 8 year relationship hiatus.

It’s been 3 years, 11 months and 4 days and a whole lot of emoticons in need of mood stabilizers filling my recently used page, and I’m still waiting for something more from him — to be the person he wants to be, the person I knew he was the first time I watched his fingers glide across the Gibson as we laughed and sang along to Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’ on the edge of his bed.

What I’m waiting for is the kind of hope that defies reason and makes everything I say and do ridiculous. Despite it all, I keep hoping, driven by the conviction in what I felt each time his eyes met mine, in the way I wanted to know what he had for lunch every day and not because I’m particularly fascinated by sandwiches. But because this was the kind of feeling that turned even the most mundane details of mustard or mayo into something special in their mere belonging to him.

I fell in love with him without my consent, piece by piece, until the fact that I loved him was just a matter of undeniable facts: how desperately he didn’t want to be alone and closed off, how desperately I wanted him to let me in, the way the sun spilled over his balcony and hitting snooze three times each morning.

We talked in our own language of whispered confessions (he wanted to quit his job, start his own company; I loved his reckless passion) and relentless puns and met whenever the world sat still, in quiet bars and empty bedrooms. Now, I’m spending all those hours with you, but I’m still counting the days.

Time passed easily enough with you at the beginning, drinking beer and dancing to live music, celebrating your new engineering job (a happy escape from banking, you said), taking me around your best friend’s housewarming party, always attentive to refilling my drinks and keeping your hand in mine, tagging along to my yoga class because you wanted to learn more about something that made me so happy.

My friends instantly liked you for leading our Tuesday trivia team to first place, for the avid interest you took in being part of all aspects of my life, for (they thought) keeping my mind from wandering to him.

It wasn’t fair that you weren’t enough to keep me from thinking of him — did he like the new St. Lucia song too? It wasn’t fair to you that I still loved him.

But, really, nothing about love is fair, given freely outside the realm of reason, without expectation or expiration, just the hope we all have — need to have — that our love is possible.

So when I’m here with you, knowing you would never miss a birthday dinner or work party, I’m happy in the time you’ve helped pass more easily, but I’m still waiting, counting the days, holding out for the possibility that love can help change him, that love will win. TC mark

featured image – MariahCareyVEVO

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