I can love you:
Violently. Yours was a violent love, and one full of denial. I refused to admit it, to even believe that it was love for years, and even when I was forced to confront it through 20 typed pages of a Word document, I fought it as hard as I could. You and I fought as hard as two people could. I loved you with a fierceness that manifested itself mostly in harsh words, or in defending myself against yours. But the violence certainly wasn’t limited to the negative; for every hole that got punched in a wall, there was a stranger telling us to quit our flirting or calling us soul mates. The clichés rang true for us, and while the lows were low, the highs were high and when we were on, we were on. The love I had for you taught me to flirt, and I loved you without restraint. I loved you with emotions overflowing, leaving me empty and blindsided.
Tenderly. Childbearing is of no interest to me and when I make this public, I’m often told that someday my matronly instincts will kick in. That as a woman, I’ll want to care for someone, to have an all-encompassing love where their well-being and safety and happiness is put before my own. I love you in this way. When my phone rings, my first thought is that you are not okay, but once I hear a cheery hello, there are few other voices I get so excited to be hearing. I beam with pride when you tell me of your success stories, and you disappoint me more than anyone else when you engage it what some may consider your typical poor decision-making. But I have more faith than most that you’ll change, because my love for you is motherly. It’s unwavering. So deep-rooted, and inexplicable, and heartbreaking at times.
Platonically. A friendship that’s gone deep enough to manifest itself as real love, as moving and palpable as any of the others. Your happiness is intrinsically tied to mine, and your sadness as well. You brought me a love that left me feeling cared for, in a way I’m not sure I’ve found in anyone else. Leveled, as you continually check my ego. Wanted, not just with your perpetual ego boosts but also with your willingness to have me sit around and hang out even if there’s no reason for me to be there at all. Stupid, in all the ways that I should feel stupid, because I’m being stupid and can be stupid, and should know that. Thanks for making me feel loved, unaware, awed, flawed, and for the first time, sexy.
Devastatingly. My love for you is easily the most heart wrenching love of all, and the kind that sometimes envelops me in a sadness so strong that I become temporarily crippled. It’s painful, you’re painful, but I’m the one that caused the pain. You’ve meant the goddamn world to me. I know I’m not always very good at showing that, that sometimes I’m downright awful at it. I know that may be the most frustrating thing about us. About me. But it’s undeniably true. You’re one of the most important and influential people in my life; you’ve meant more to me than anyone else at that school did and you’ve taught me damn more than any four years of classes could. I’ve never been able to even come close to accurately or articulately describing the love we share, or at least that which I have for you. You make me possessive. Honest. Mean. You can bring out both the best and the worst of me, and I scare myself. I may not know all there is to know about you- you’ve never been one to over share. But I do know that you have one of the most forgiving hearts of anyone I know. That you have looked out for me more than you probably should have. You’ve created a love that’s overwhelming, that breaks me each time I realize you’re gone.
Fleetingly. There are days you make me giddy, when getting a text from you brings out the middle school in me and I’m smiling and acting goofy and embarrassing. The love reserved for you comes and goes, swelling with each dimpled smile, but never consuming me. It’s flighty and exciting and occasionally dizzying, but never grounded in true emotion. You’ve been fun, taking my heart along with you as you flirt and wink, but never moving anywhere. You’re my Ferris wheel.
Truly. All encompassingly. With nothing mad about it. You made love mean that I simply cared about you more than anyone else. That there were few to no things that I could see being worth not having you, that I was willing to sacrifice some of me and my happiness for yours. It just was, I just did. Love was simply a matter of the fact that you made it to where you were in my heart and that we were how we were. Love became defined as the idea that it’s rare that talking to you couldn’t help things, that you, too, are willing to sacrifice for me. Love became that you were what I wanted as a constant above all else. Our love was redefining.
I’ve loved you all, but never has the word love been enough.