Two weeks ago, we’d decided to take the rational road—the one that would separate us until we could be together, for real, again. Because I’m off to my senior year in a few days, and he’s almost two weeks into a life-consuming job that leaves him five-to-six hours to be a human everyday.
Two weeks ago, we’d decided to be mature—to think with our brains, and not our hearts. To protect long-term Us by putting short-term Us on hold. To temporarily shed our ownership of one another in a noble effort to stay sane—to dodge the maddening grips of jealousy and uncertainty over when we’d be able to see each other again.
But then, a week ago, we said fuck it. We’re in love, and we’re not done with Us yet. Not for now. A week ago, we decided to fuck the fear of long distance. We decided to take the romantic road—the one that may lead us to jealous, uncertain destruction. The one that may lead us to making it work, however naive that hope may be.
It was his call. It had to be his call.
Because he knew I was torn. That one part of me—the rational part—was carefully optimistic that breaking up, for now, was the right decision. The adult decision. Because I’ve never been in a long distance relationship, but I’ve heard they’re tough. Hella tough. Especially when you’re this green. Especially when one of you has two semesters left to say goodbye to kidhood, and the other is in the first stretch of adulthood. Especially when one of you is about to have a whole lot of you-time on your hands, and the other is learning what it’s like to have none at all. But he knew that the other part of me—the hypersensitive, idealistically romantic part—wanted to give it a shot. Because we’re in love. So in love that, maybe, we could be the exception to the long distance rule.
That’s why it had to be his call, see? Because if this shit isn’t going to crash and burn, he has to decide that he can dedicate a chunk of those five-to-six hours he gets to be a human to Us, without resenting Us. That he can dedicate a chunk of those hours to loving someone, and to reminding that someone that he loves her. To making Us work, even when he’s drowning in his work. Because he already knew that the hypersensitive, idealistically part of me is most of me. He already knew I was down. So he had to decide that he was down, too.
He decided. He decided that we’re worth the risk. I was torn, and he decided for Us—he decided that my hypersensitive, idealistically romantic love thoughts are worth thinking. That when you find something this right, you’ve got to find a way to keep it from going wrong.
And then I told him. I told him that if we’re gonna do this, we’ve got to do it. With conviction. We’ve got to say to each other: this shit is gonna be hard. And exhausting. And messy. And time-consuming when neither of us has the time. But we’ve got to be brave, and we’ve got to take it seriously. We’ve got to silence our shared fear that we’re setting Us up for failure. We’ve got to be aware of the risk, but confident in the reward. We’ve got to remember that all relationships are hard. And exhausting. And messy. And time-consuming when neither of you has the time. And we’ve just got to believe that, despite some inevitable cracks, we’re strong enough, together, not to break.
I know he’s scared of ever feeling like we’re a burden. I am, too. Both of us are scared that, at some point(s), we’re going to feel that Us is something we have to maintain, rather than something we want to maintain. Both of us are scared of mutual resentment. Both of us are scared of failure, because neither of us are very good at losing.
But, fuck it, right? Yeah, fuck it. I’m gonna make time. So will he. Because I need him, and he needs me. School is three hours away from home if I ride with a reckless driver—and all my chauffeurs are reckless. We can do three hours. I can do three hours. It’s distance, sure, but it ain’t that long. It ain’t so long that I’m not down to ride. To stretch the limits of what, for the past three months, has been a convenient relationship. Convenient’s boring, after all—and neither of us are boring. And both of us, I think, are ready for a challenge. So let’s fucking go.