We had four years together. They were those most miraculous, painful, challenging, and beautiful years of my life. It didn’t take us long to realize that there was no one else we would rather be with. My father respected you, my mother simply adored you, and our families were just as inseparable as we were. It didn’t take long before you were down on one knee slipping my dream diamond onto my left hand. I was beyond ready to be your wife and take you as my husband. My dress was immaculate, our outdoor venue was reserved, the guest list was finished, my bridesmaid’s dresses were flawless, and every time I looked at you I felt completely at ease. Our perfect day was planned with such clarity, yet it never came.
I will forever remember that chilly Sunday morning that I lost you for good. Instead of me waking up to a familiar kiss on the cheek and a fresh cup of coffee, I woke up to find you staring out of the kitchen window with empty eyes telling me that for no particular reason at all, you had come to the conclusion that you didn’t love me anymore. I don’t think I moved from our kitchen floor for days after you left. The emptiness I felt was unbearable. You were my best friend, the love of my life, and my future. I didn’t want to imagine a life without you in it. I couldn’t. I don’t pray. But I prayed. I prayed I was having a bad dream. I prayed to wake up. But I wasn’t asleep.
They say that time heals all wounds and that loss gets easier with time. I think that’s bullshit. What really happens is the spaces between the times I miss you grow longer. Then when I do think of you, it’s still with a stabbing pain to my heart. And then there’s the guilt, guilt because it has been too long since I thought of you last. Everyone told me that it would hurt the most at night, and apparently screaming into the darkness at 2 AM is the romantic equivalent of a broken heart, but for me it’s around 9 a.m. on a Sunday and the smell of fresh coffee and the sound of rain hitting the glass makes me miss you so much that I forget how to breathe. I want to crumble to the floor every single time, but I force myself to stay standing.
I still miss everything about you, and probably always will. I still carry the memories of the things you said, how safe I felt with you, how you smelled and tasted, magical places we went together—memories that are so dear to me that they will stain my heart everywhere I go. I cannot imagine that you have managed to reclaim or reshape these memories with someone else, or that you have managed to erase me from your past. I miss watching the way your hazel eyes would light up whenever you talked about your dreams and our future. I crave the way you looked at me when I stumbled out of bed in the morning to get my first cup of coffee and I’ll forever miss that crooked smile you always flashed my way when I couldn’t reach something on the top shelf. Those may be the minuscule things in some people’s eyes, but they take up the most room in my heart. I never expected our story to end before it had truly begun. I met the love of my life, but I wasn’t the love of yours.
I hope this new woman in your life realizes how lucky she is. It was my dream to be her. It was supposed to be me wearing that white dress and I was supposed to be the one running into your strong arms at the end of a painfully long day. I envisioned sleepy mornings intertwined with you and late nights spent telling stories of how we met to our beautiful children. I wanted to sit on the front porch with you 50 years from now and just talk about things that didn’t matter with the one person who mattered most to me. To this day, I can’t help but wonder what I meant to you in the end, or even in the beginning. I have so many questions but I can’t even bring myself to ask them for fear that I may be irreparably broken by the truth.
If there were any way that I could be yours for the rest of my days, I would, but I can’t. I love you enough to know that it’s time for me to let you go. We had a phenomenal past, but she is your future now. All I can pray for is that hopefully one day I won’t be afraid to love. I hope that someday I can lose the surety of how I felt about you, or at least lose the idea of who I thought you were to me; or even worse, who I thought I was to you. At the end of the day, I hope you have found the love of your life. I hope she makes your life easier and that she brings you nothing but joy and peace. Even on my worst days, I love you too much to want any less for you.