by Azo (Texas)
It feels like it’s ending. It’s been coming for a while now, and we both knew that.
There’s a fraction of me that wants to hold onto you forever even if it’s far from healthy for either of us because I’m inherently selfish in that way. If it was up to me, I would throw my priorities out of my window while we clip down the highway on another road trip to a money-sucking tourist trap. I suppose that’s the reason we can’t work out — we have priorities that are too consuming to balance each other with.
We’re both needy people in a sense. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as my brother once told me, “You can never be too needy with a person who is willing to successfully cater to your desires.”
We expected so much out of each other that we both fell short of what the other needed. I would like to think that it’s just bad timing, that we’re perfect for each other but happened to connect during a critical time in which we both felt we had to prove ourselves to the world. I wish this was the case, but I can never know for sure.
I do know that the love I have for you is unparalleled in my history, which is only eighteen years long, four of which have been spent weaving among relationships hoping that one could stick. Although ours couldn’t either, it was the first time that I immediately knew there was no one else more worth the affection I could possibly give. It was the fastest that I had ever wanted someone to love me in the way I loved them.
That night that you let me try hard liquor for the first time (don’t tell my parents), and we were floating in and out of consciousness across my bedroom floor, there was one cloud of memory that could never slip through my fingers even if I tried.
I straddled you and cradled your face close to mine, gazing into your far-from-sober eyes that stared at me like I was the black hole in the middle of the universe — mystifying, unknown at the moment, and constantly pulling things like you into the furthest depths of me that I’m too afraid to explore myself — and I told you I loved you.
You didn’t think I meant it, and I told myself in the days following that I didn’t, but the overwhelming rush that flooded my mind with you and only you was enough to tell me that I was wrong.
I don’t think I’ll ever be as vulnerable with anyone as I was in that moment, or at least, I don’t want to be for right now.
There are times where I wish you were a stranger to me (as this Tame Impala song suggests; I couldn’t help myself). It would save me the heartache that I feel like I’ll never completely recover from. It would keep us at that distance that we unintentionally maintained while I was in high school, and I would just know you as that cute guy from my calculus class.
You would look at me and think that I was pretty, without having memory of the sometimes unbearable pain we put each other through.
You were never one to believe that minor changes in the past could affect the future; however, I’d like to believe that if you were never in that class, or if I told you how much my friend and I admired you and then walked away before you could say anything, our pain could be avoided. Because the thought of having to learn from this relationship rather than being able to experience it for the rest of my life wrings my heart worse than any hurtful thing you’ve ever said to me.
Maybe you’ll always be the love of my life. God, that would suck if I were to have a relationship after you. But at times, it feels undeniable.
You would hold me like I was the most delicate sculpture you had ever been able to touch. You would press your lips against my forehead as if it would be the last time you did that. It’s incredibly unfortunate that neither of us was aware that it would be. I would curl my fingers into the back of your shirt whenever I cried, and you would shove your face into my neck as if it was still possible to be physically closer to me.
I’ll miss your heartbeat. The way you hated your two-toned hair and cut it all off. You wearing the navy blue NASA hat I gave you every day as if it was sewed to every strand hair on top of your head. Your attempts to pick me up from the floor, whether we were fighting or I was sleepy. The nights we would lie on the parking garage floor and listen to music from your car. The late-night Plan-B and fast food runs even if we had 8 ams the following morning.
I love you, I love you, I love you, and I’m sorry if you ever fell out of love. I’ll always be here, secretly wishing I could dance on the side of the street with someone like you without feeling like the world is spinning without me, like the city can run without us listening to the same song at the same time.