I thought I would’ve met you by now. You see, I’ve been waiting for you ever since I first grew conscious of what love is. At night, when most kids drift off to the backdrop of bedtime stories, I was imagining you in my head and all the ways in which our paths could possibly cross. All the things I would say to you — the beautiful, ridiculous, and gory figments of my mind, buried there for safekeeping, hidden away only to be revealed to the one whose soul would feel like an extension of mine.
I built up such an elaborate picture, such intricate stories — each one was a classic romance novel unto itself. The more colors I added to the painting of the two of us, the more I grew certain that when I did finally meet you, I would instantly know.
The real world, of course, doesn’t usually operate in those fantastical and glittering ways, as I eventually came to realize. And what a painstakingly long and insufferable realization it was. The death of my childhood, which gradually played itself out, cleared my eyes to see the world as it really is: a place often nonsensical, fickle, and full of arbitrary occurrences.
Full of encounters that really have no meaning, save for the ones you give them.
Full of people who will take your burning heart against their own cold, unfeeling ones, only to crush it — in the most careless fashion — into a million little pieces under the weight of their own jadedness.
You, my imaginary love, had no place in such a world. And yet, I was so shocked by the reality of things, so utterly appalled by the crudeness of it all, that I simply refused to accept it.
So I raged instead.
Every time a boy came into my life, I convinced myself — as though I could will it into being — that it was you. I painted bright, golden images where I found monochromatism. I pumped adoration and ardor into my own heart when naturally it didn’t find any. I was still the little girl glutting herself with fairytale visions. Except now, those visions came with a consequence.
The trouble is that the higher you fly, the harder you fall. And for all the beauty my rose-colored glasses gave me, it couldn’t substitute the real thing. If I ever stopped for a brief moment, I could half-feel that it was all a fraud. A well-intentioned fraud, but a fraud all the same.
My fairytale lover, I have been hurt more times than I can count. My heart has been shattered into a million little pieces and taken on the weight of much more than a heart is supposed to take. Somewhere between the death of my childhood and now, I realized it wasn’t right to always look at the world through my rose-tinted glasses. It made me hold on to things that I should’ve let go of way sooner than I did. It put me in situations that I really shouldn’t have been in.
I know now that you don’t have one face but many. Right this second, there are different possible living, breathing versions of you out there. I also know that our love story won’t be a fairytale; there will inevitably be ugly and unpleasant things that we’ll find along our path and in one another. We will have to work hard and fight for us. You won’t be a prince and I won’t be a princess. The occasional vapidity and jaggedness of things will still exist, but they will pale in comparison to the weight of our love.
There will also be some people along my path that will, at times, resemble you. And even though I’ll be tempted to, purely because of how much I want you, I won’t fool myself into thinking they are you anymore. I’ll enjoy my time with them but won’t delude myself into thinking I’ve arrived at the final destination, whatever that means.
I want you to know that, even though I was angry for the longest time and raged against the realities of life, I don’t let the jadedness of others jade me. The softness of my heart won’t be taken by their callousness. I believe in the sanctity of true human connection. I believe in your goodness, in the world’s goodness, and all that still shines in the face of despair and entropy.
One day I will read this to you and you will see the truth of it in my eyes.