Our clothes lay scattered around my bedroom floor, and I look at you, your face dimly lit by the candle on my nightstand. Wrapping your arms around me, you pull me closer to your warm skin. Your index finger rests on my hip as you start tracing the veins up and down my body. In this moment, I am comfortable, more comfortable than I’ve ever been with someone. I feel safe. Words start flowing from your lips like honey, words that you’ve never spoken before. At least not in this way. We tell stories from our pasts and laugh as we interrupt each other with small kisses. “I’ve missed this,” you whisper.
Like high tide, the current starts rushing through my body.
“I’m not this girl; I don’t let people in,” my inner voice repeats. I move closer to you and run my hand over yours. Like waves, the feelings start filling my chest, so much that I have to leave your gaze. I’m submerged. You’ve caught me. My entire life I’ve been a bird, but you’ve clipped my wing. You ask me what I’m thinking about. I say, “Nothing.”
I stare at the speckled ceiling and smile to myself. I could feel my heartbeat slowly growing faster until it felt like it would beat right outside my chest. And that’s when I knew. I knew I had fallen.
My entire life I’ve chosen to do things on my own. I prefer it that way; it’s my comfort zone. Freedom has never been a second thought of mine. I’m the ‘cool girl,’ as some would say. I have more guy friends than girl friends. I’m impulsive. I like to keep things interesting by booking a flight or moving across the country on a whim. I never stay in one place, or in one relationship, long enough to let someone past the walls I’ve built around myself.
I don’t mean to do this on purpose. I do this because I feel so deeply. I’m afraid of letting myself go, letting someone fully see me. It means I have to turn off my fiercely independent mindset to show someone every side of me. Being vulnerable means letting someone interrupt your life, your routine, your friendships—letting them change your life. And that has never come easy to me.
But this time I let myself fall. I knew I was falling because I never have before. You cracked the walls I had built around myself and my light started to shine through. As the cracks spread, my desire to run away, to book a flight or pack up and move, started to fade. I could see the future, and you were in it.
This is my love letter to you.
I let you in, I opened the door for you, but you kept your shoes on.
I’ve been told I’m hard to read many times throughout my life. I’ve always chalked this up to not knowing what I want. But I do—I want to be submerged. I want to open the door for someone willing to take their shoes off and stay a while.
You pull away and your warmth leaves my cold skin. You slowly put your clothes back on and head to the front door. My body is screaming, “Don’t go. Don’t leave. Stay here with me. Let’s live in this moment forever.” I should have looked you in the eyes and told you not to leave, told you I want to fight for this. But I didn’t. I didn’t do any of those things.
I watched you leave and go back to her. I think you know too. I think you could feel it as you hugged me goodbye. Deep in your heart, I think you feel the same. I want to fight for this, but I shouldn’t have to fight alone. I want to tell you I’ve fallen. But now you’re with someone else.
I’m growing a new wing. A stronger wing this time. It hurts, but I’m slowly catching my breath. I’m learning to breathe with the tide. The cracks in my walls are still shining, and soon those walls will come crumbling down.
I think I’ll unpack my bags and stay a while. Put down my passport and call this place home. I’m not fully comfortable here yet, but I’m learning.
I don’t want to be alone anymore. I want to be alone with someone. Alone together. I want to be submerged. I want to laugh in their arms, and when they are about to leave, I’ll be able to tell them not to go.