I never believed in someone being meant for you until I lost you. Just like you entered my life—slowly at first and then all at once—you left it in the same fashion. I took you for granted when you opened yourself up to me and took advantage of your feelings just the same. You loved completely, and I love the games. Before I realized what I was doing and my mind had time to catch up with my heart, you moved on, moved away, never to be heard from again.
One day, I might look back on what we had and call you “the one who got away.” I might regret all the time I spent trying to avoid opening up to you. I might fight the urge to call you up every year on your birthday and remind you of the time I planned a whole night out on the town with your best friends, only for us to end up spending the night in bed watching reruns of Two and a Half Men and eating the oatmeal raisin cookies I slaved over in my little studio apartment kitchen. I might compare every man I meet to you, and no one might ever measure up to the amazing man I let slip out of my life because of my own indecision and self-doubt. Maybe all this will happen, but I take responsibility for it.
When we met, I wasn’t looking for anything to come of us. College was such an easy place to meet people, or at least that’s what everyone always says, but I never felt more alone on that 20,000+ person campus. I had just gotten out of a messy relationship (or not-relationship, as it turned out to be) and you were a distraction. I was trying to forget and your arms seemed as good a place as any to do so. I saw you every morning in line, waiting to order your large Caffè Americano and quickly be corrected that “large” wasn’t a size, but Venti was. I took notice after a week or so, when you kept ordering a large just to annoy the already-stretched thin barista. One day, you finally commented on my choice of black iced coffee, making some joke I can’t exactly remember about it being as dark as your sense of humor. Maybe I could remember if I was paying attention instead of staring at those green-blue eyes that seemed to piece clean through my tough-girl exterior. Right then, I knew I was in trouble.
Casual meet-ups for coffee turned into dinners on Main Street, and dinners turned into movies, and movies turned into quasi-sleepovers. As much as I tried to avoid opening up to you, your persistence was unparalleled. You saw me for more than just the cool-girl image I tried to portray. The leather jacket and deep affinity for black nail polish didn’t deter you, bless your soul. You never stopped asking questions, usually about topics I don’t even talk to my therapist about, and were always genuine and caring in your responses to my complicated backstories. It didn’t matter whether I was talking about the guy who broke my nose on Valentine’s Day or my parent’s on-again, off-again marriage, you always made me feel like any problem I faced, you would be there for me to lean on. I refused to ever spend the night, electing every night to slink back to my apartment at 4 AM, which I’m sure made you think you were less important than you were to me. You would lay with me in your arms, so comfortable in this position with sheer contentment made apparent by your sleepy grin, while I would wiggle out of your bed, into my jeans, and out onto the quiet streets. Walking home, I would wish I had stayed but then remind myself I was too broken from my previous relationship to give you hope on a future with us. I justified my actions, not taking your feelings into consideration. I was afraid of falling for you, but honey, I was already falling a million miles a minute.
I never said it to you when we were together, but I hope you know I had feelings for you. Communication has never been my strong suit, but I feel as though on some level, you knew, and understood why I was trying to distance myself. I tried to put you in a little box, separating you from the rest of my life, but you grew too important. You were more than just someone to pass the time with and get over my shitty ex-boyfriend. I introduced you to my parents, and even though I spent the most painfully awkward thirty seconds of my life choking out “This is my…er…my…friend…maybe? Yeah..friend…mhm..my friend” to my mother, I was never more sure of introducing anyone to them. You proudly told my parents how amazed you were by me each day, and as I blushed into my raspberry wheat beer, I knew you were it for me.
The night you met my parents, during one of our Saturday nights spent avoiding the college scene and bumming it in your apartment, I realized I loved you more than I could even explain. But once again, karma and timing took a gigantic shit on our almost-relationship and before I could tell you, you broke the news you had decided to transfer to our state school to be closer to your family. That night you told me, I went home and cried in bed all night. I didn’t understand why this was happening—why everything was falling apart right when I was ready to commit—but maybe that is what I get for not surrendering myself to the universe’s plan.
I hope each day that fate will bring us back together: that we run into each other in the supermarket in the city, that we reconnect on Facebook in a few years once we’ve both graduated and settled into our post-grad routines, that it’s me and you against the world the way it should have been if I hadn’t been so self-absorbed. If that isn’t in the cards for us, I hope you find the love you read about in novels with someone who is ready to let you into her life fully. You deserve the world because to me, you hung the sun, the moon and the stars. Above all, I wish you happiness and fulfillment.
With much love and always in my heart,