The t-shirt he gave me has lost his scent. Weeks pass without a thought of him. But apparently the emotion still lingers. When I see this text saved on my phone, everything comes rushing back.
“I want you to remember that you have so much to look forward to. Because you have our life together to look forward to, the one that will be created when we’re finally together and there’s nothing stopping us from sharing our love in it’s truest form. You’re amazing to me. I wish that I could make you this happy all the time, but like you said to me, I love all of you. Every phase. You’re the most amazing girl I’ve ever known and my only. I will stay with you for the rest of your life and be everything I can for you. You make my heart race every day and put a smile on my face in the morning. I love you so much.”
When I read these words, I fall in love all over again. For a moment, I see his face in my mind, I have security in our future together. And then I realize that it’s gone. I let him go.
I shake my old feelings and take a step back. I look at those words again through the safe distance of an objective viewer. I am amazed at how those two teenagers fell in love through words, inseparable for a year but with no physical contact day-to-day. “Relationships” that last more than a month or two are pretty rare in youth. Long-distance relationships are almost non-existent. So how did we do it?
We video-called for at least an hour every night, or talked on the phone otherwise. We texted in between things. We spent a lot of time together, but we didn’t sacrifice friends or things we were involved in. We listened to the same songs at the same time. We made up stories. We sent each other Christmas gifts. We said what was on our minds, we let nothing simmer underneath the surface, unsaid. We made plans to see each other in person and did the best we could to see them through. We talked about what was going on in our lives now and we daydreamed about our future together.
I left because I had no other choice. My relationship with him was costing my relationship with my family. Most days, I’m content with where I am now. I’ve grown so much since I’ve been on my own. So has my family dynamic. But on nights like tonight, I can’t help wondering “what if?” So I let myself dwell in the possibilities for a minute. Then I brush them off. I found love so young. I have a lot of life left to find it again. For now, I’ll focus on what’s right in front of me.