Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and so is the encroaching sadness that the single population often feel. Instead of letting the bitterness of loneliness turn me into someone that I’m really not, I wrote this piece about all the great loves of my life. If you think you’re in this, you probably are.
This is a piece about acknowledging a person you were involved with and what purpose they served in the season of your life they were in.
One, you were the one for me. Sweetly 16, chocolate rocks and a satin couch began the bloom of my first love. You were outgoing and shy, all in one body. They’ve told you since you were born that you had a bad heart, but from where I sat, you could never have a malicious muscle in your perfectly pubescent body. You were my very best friend- hours and hours on the phone were spent in laughter. Your parents sure did hate me, even though you still deny that to this day. We lasted a long time, longer than those that would follow you. I think we lasted because you are an actual representation of joy- you hoped and believed that we were meant for the brightest moments. I was the one who ruined everything- I was young and irrational, albeit emotionally stunted from the lack of visible healthy relationships in my life. No excuses could ever make me feel better about losing your friendship and your companionship. We reconnected later and I realized that you were still in love with someone else, someone you’ll marry now. I couldn’t be happier for you. You showed me how to love someone to the point of making myself homesick for a heartbeat.
Two, you were what they call my “high school sweetheart.” I think we ended up breaking up and dating like, three times. High school was hard for everyone, and we were no exception. This was when I started to make questionable decisions- decisions that I thought were something that everyone was doing, and you did as well. The last time we were together, we discovered our passion for lunchables in the back of the local grocery store, headbanging on the way to your house, and frustrating each other to the end of time. You taught me that I was better than anyone had told me I could ever be. You loved me with red hair, sometimes I dye it back just to taste a little bit of us one more time. You showed me that there was more out there for me.
Three, everyone saw the chemistry. The chemistry that we created since we met in the 6th grade. You always made me laugh until I couldn’t breathe, I drove to see you in the middle of the windy West Texas nights. I used to think that someone like you could never be with someone like me, and then I went to college. We started dating and I saw you every weekend I could get away from school- you moved to work in the oil field. I drove to see you at your sisters house, we spent our time wisely and efficiently. I missed you when you were gone, we used webcams to make ourselves believe that somehow, the electricity between computers could conduct into us. You drove to surprise me with an orchid for Valentine’s Day, it died just like we did. You were lost and you couldn’t tell me. I was lonely and couldn’t stop telling you. I got so many beautiful things out of us, three. My best friend came from us. My sense of self came from us. I still miss your friendship. I heard you’re thinking about marrying your person, I hope you do. You deserve happiness, just like that orchid deserved the sunlight.
Four, you were my great adventure. You were the first person I met on Tinder that I didn’t absolutely hate. You quoted The Office and showed me your soft side and I was hooked. We first met at a wedding, two hours from home for me and about nine for you. That first night, I met all of the people that were the most important to your younger years- I came to love those people. I still love those people so dearly, thank you for sharing them with me. We saw each other monthly, we talked every night. We didn’t realize the weight of the distance, the weight of our age difference. You let me become a part of your family, a family who still loves me and cherishes me to this day- thank you for the amazing gift of the family I never deserved. You left the day after my best friend’s wedding, never to come back. You called me “baby” as you deconstructed my plans for the future and my heart. Looking back now, I know you never wanted to hurt me. You cried the whole time, you got in your car and I just stood at my door, hoping that you would run back to me and tell me that you loved me. You didn’t. You looked at me through the window of that Xterra, you waved goodbye, and backed out. I wanted to run after you, scream how sorry i was, tell you how much I never deserved you. I went to work and got sent home because, well, I realized that the love of my life was gone.I still miss you. You’re married and you have a beautiful family- I am so overjoyed for you. If there was ever someone who taught me how to love every single part of myself, it was you. Four, you were the one who got away.
Five, you were too pure for me. I met you on accident, you were in town to visit your family and didn’t intend on matching with anyone. Instead, you got me. We were never right for each other, everything was too different. I wanted to be touched, you had never touched someone without feeling out of place. I couldn’t understand. We laughed, we listened to the most beautiful music,= I still have a playlist named after you. When we realized that we were not realistic, we sat on my couch and cried through goodbye. Whenever I see owls, I think of you. Brand New makes me miss you. You taught me about the wrong timing, and the right person.
Six, you unleashed total hell into my life. We met because you were pressured into a dating app. You met me by happenstance and grabbed me with your love for hot tea. See, you were just like me. You were broken, different, and just attractive enough to squeak by in this harsh world. I loved the simplicity that you offered me. You let me move in with you when I was lost, and I the same to you. At the end, I had nothing good to say about you. I still barely do. But, I have to acknowledge that you made me understand that who I am, who I was, and who I will become will always be too much for you. I will always not miss you. I will always remember what you did for me in the hard parts of my life, I will always remember the busted windshield and the ripping apart of my mental illnesses. I will always remember that you are too devoid of emotion to be with someone like me.
Seven, you were my punk-rock fantasy. You see, we met long ago and I was horrible to you. No excuses, I was a horrible person to you. We reconnected on accident and we began to poison each other immediately. To the naked eye, we were perfect. We were meant to be together long-term. The problems started small, disagreeing on the choices I made with my body- then they progressed. We ignored it all, because we both believe in a beautiful destiny. I came to see you, the first time I’d boarded a plane for a boy. We had so much fun, but I was unsettled. In the end, I had to do something that I am not proud of- I had to email my explanation for cutting it off. We just kept going in circles, we couldn’t just.. let it go. I will remember the beautiful places you blessed me with. I will remember Pierce the Veil and the bay, getting way too wine drunk when you left me alone in a bar, City and Colour and the blisters on my feet. You taught me that my romanticism is not always realism; you taught me that the heart, ultimately, wants what it wants. You’ve since blocked me, I wish you wouldn’t have, but I understand that I belong in the shadow box of your life.
One through Seven, you are not just numbers. You shaped my life in ways I never imagined. Thank you for breaking and building the castle of heart, and creating the moat. I loved you all for everything I wasn’t, I hope you can find it in your heart to see that we are all a work in progress. Thank you for being the easel, paintbrushes, and vibrant colors that helped create the masterpiece behind this keyboard.