I was thinking about the first time we told each other we loved each other today.
We were at a bar, in the back corner; your friend who had just moved to town was passed out in the booth. You had just come back from a trip, and we were talking about how much we didn’t like being apart. I could tell something was waiting inside of your head, so I asked-
“Is there something you’re wanting to tell me?”
That’s when you said it. And when I said it back, I knew that I meant it. It was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life. To feel known by someone, fully. To feel understood in a way that no one had understood me before. To be valued enough by somebody that they were willing to lay themselves bare, not knowing what my response would be.
Looking back on that moment now, four months post-war, after four months of heartache and change and growth, four months with no more than a few hours of conversation between us, I see it differently now.
At first, this was one of the memories I locked in my ‘do not think of’ box. I couldn’t process the fact that things had changed so quickly, so violently. How could you have said that to me then– and do what you did to me now?
But the beauty of that moment is that it’s just a moment, and seeing as we are no longer a permanent fixture in each other’s lives, we both have the opportunity to have that moment again. With someone else. And we won’t waste it this time.
This is the beautiful part of breaking up that I never expected. Once the memories that used to strike me as painful stopped hurting so much, they would transition to an optimistic expectation for what was next. They would become something I would look forward to happening again, with someone else.
The best part about breaking up, the part that nobody told me about, was that I would inevitably find hope again.
I would inevitably find my excitement for better, my anticipation that the next relationship would eventually become exciting instead of harrowing.
The best part about breaking up is that my memories are truly, fully, mine now.
The best part about breaking up is that, one day, I will have the chance to write about this moment again. And it will feel entirely different.
And that will be the best part about it.