Love isn’t just smiles and laughter, its the tears and pain as well. Love is forgiveness and togetherness. It’s committing to a better tomorrow, even in the face of chaos. It’s staying, even in the most trying of times. Love isn’t always simple, but it is always willing to try.
I have a hard time remembering the me before there was an us. Becoming so intertwined with each other, it’s as if we no longer exist as individuals. If there was a different version of my that once walked this Earth, she is a distant memory scattered through the memories of everyone who had the misfortune of meeting her. She was rougher than the me now, broken in places she wasn’t sure how to fix. The jagged edges caused problems in her relationships. But you were able to withstand them. You worked out the sharp corners. Maybe the pieces couldn’t all be fixed, but you found a way around them. And now here we are, the shadow of what we once were just a distant memory.
I hope my words linger long enough, for you to remember what we meant to each other. Not to make your heart heavy, rather a little lighter on the days it seems to be weighing you down.
You deserve more than whiskey fueled dreams and clumsy kisses. More than someone who can’t make up her mind. You deserve cotton candy filled skies and moonlit nights. You deserve promises made with a tongue grazing your lips. You deserve wedding bells and diamond rings. You deserve a life filled with laughter and happiness. You deserve more than I can give you.
She comes to me in the dead night, while I slumber. “I love you.” slips for her mouth, exactly how I remembered it. This time I can spot the frayed ends all over the words. The punctuation so firm at the end of the sentence, I see the ending she began. Her love wasn’t meant to last a lifetime, perhaps mine wouldn’t have either. She will learn to move on, while I’m left to analyze the dreams from the time it all started to fall apart. Finding each small moment she started to slip away from me, one sentence at a time.
She said my I love you’s sound more like apologies, for not knowing how to hold on to another human being, long before I was gone. And that I always seemed like I had one foot out the door, ready to run at the first sign of trouble. I was never taught how to love without contingencies and trust was just a fantasy. To protect my heart, I learned how to say goodbye as quickly as I said hello. In my world people were temporary and you shouldn’t hold on to anything so tightly. But then you stayed and you wrapped your arm so tightly around me, I couldn’t flee. You always had a part of your body touching mine, as if to quell the doubts in my mind. Every time I tried to flee, you grabbed my hand and pulled me back. You taught me how to stay. This time I won’t run, because you are the only place I know where to run to.
I lost my passion, beneath these dark clouds. It avoids me in my searches. Life seems so empty without it. I think I left it inside of you. You must have taken it when you left me. I didn’t find it in the box of stuff you returned. Now I don’t have either of you.
In a world filled with distractions, sometimes I feel as though we occupy the same space, but we don’t really see or hear each other. Our thoughts are always being diverted towards a million other things. In this moment, I want you to see me. I want your undivided attention, if only for a blink in this timeline. I want you to hear me when I say I love you.
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This version of me would never exist without you. Personalities entwined between bed sheets and hurried kisses. Happiness was a word barely comprehendible until you, as parts that were once frayed have found a new way to be whole. Between laughter building bridges to new possibilities, was hope being restored amidst prolonged eye contact. And love was the foundation where all of this could settle.
This is an excerpt from my poetry chapbook, All Or Nothing, which can now be found in the amazon store.