Six months after a relationship ends, it’s hard to remember why the relationship even came to be. Every now and then, I have to remind myself why I loved you. I have to remind myself that you weren’t always a bad idea. You weren’t always the one that got away. For a little while, you were mine. And for a little while, I got to love you.
I loved you for the way your laugh erupted out of you. The corners of your lips would start to curl into a smile, and all of a sudden, your body would lunge forward and this booming laugh would come pouring out. Your eyes always looked a little surprised by the action, and I adored that.
I loved you for our first kiss. We were watching some terrible movie that you told me I would love, but I knew that I would hate. There we sat, two best friends, making fun of each other like we always did. You looked into my eyes. Your breath got heavy and your hands began to shake. We both knew it was going to happen. Before I could even process it, your lips were on mine, and you were kissing me like you would never kiss anyone else ever again. My back hit the bed, and I never wanted to stop kissing you, because I was afraid your lips might never make their way back to mine. But, by the grace of God, they did. And everything I’d ever wanted was suddenly in reach.
I loved you for the night you made me a cup of blueberry tea while I worked tirelessly on a term paper. You let me put your tv C-SPAN and watch all of the political nonsense you couldn’t stand. I snapped at you for making jokes, because you were making it hard to focus, but you just gave me that big goofy smile and kissed me softly. Now, I can’t focus at all without your little interruptions.
I loved you for the way you looked in your plaid pajama pants, curled up in my lap. You were sick, and you were embarrassed to call me when you didn’t know how to make soup. I held you while you watched your favorite movie and apologized for ruining my day. When I leaned down to kiss you, you told me I would get sick, but I kissed you anyway. I got sick, but I didn’t care.
I loved you for the way you treated your baby sister on the first night we babysat together. I helped her put her thick hair into a ponytail, and you held her while she cried after a nightmare. You put her back to bed, and the moment you whispered that you loved her, I knew that I loved you.
I loved you for the way you made me ignore all of the red flags. Not even your demons and your addictions could scare me away. The days when you got so dark that you wouldn’t talk to me and the nights you drowned your sorrows in booze and pills never phased me. A trail of smoke and broken hearts followed you around, but I loved you so much that I knew I would be the one to fix you. I wasn’t.
I loved you for the seven years we spent together, and I loved you for the night you said goodbye. I cried in the front seat of my best friend’s truck, while my brother’s friends brought me daisies and marshmallows. I ran away to Texas to get over you, because being in our hometown was the hardest thing I’d ever had to do. Every building, every backroad, every familiar face held a memory of you. You taught me how it feels to lose everything. And I love you for that.