We’re fourteen and sitting side by side through the days. Lunch, classes and locker life talks are all a blur. We ride the wave of being so young, so unsure of what we’re doing. We’re friends, and I like the way you laugh at my jokes, and the fact that everything is so serious. We aren’t tainted by the people we will both love. We are here and it is steady.
We’re seventeen and the world is bigger now. We make playlists in the cold of winter, but the solid strum of guitars make me prefer this state- a deference for the darkness keeps our bones warm and our hearts beat out to the way Foo Fighters intended.
We’re nineteen and some couple hundred miles away, still singing to the sounds of something sunny. I know we’re still thinking about clever titles for playlists. Thousands of songs fill my stations, but the angst of Paramore still reminds me of you. So we reach out, we hold on, we give it another round of songs that say everything we couldn’t dare.
We’re twenty one, and we know that the world is ours. Separately, we’ve done all we could. We listened, we learned, we kept on living. We sat side by side again, the steady hum of the road beneath us. We traveled through the night, and I was fourteen again. But it was only then, in the middle of a dark room, where the music stopped, and our voices filled the spaces- we poured out our hearts.
We’re aging, slowly against the tides of life. And maybe we’re not ready for it all. And maybe we’re waiting to hear just the right string of words. Just know, I’ll be listening with ears wide open. I got it though, I realized then; I don’t need confetti, I’ll take the party for two.
They’ll ask you things, like “how did it feel?” And you’ll respond with “happy, exhilarated, over the moon” But it was more than that, it was the way that old things became new again, and sharing your life with someone meant that compromise was always a steady and easy “alright.” Because it didn’t matter so much if it was your way or theirs, but that you were together. Nothing was ever boring, and the silence never felt heavy or over bearing. It was more than just the phone calls and never ending stream of words that constantly poured out of you all hours of each day. It was the way that you called them your muse, drawing out colors and capturing sounds with only 26 letters- creating worlds that could go into infinity. And maybe that’s what it was-infinite- a steady flow into each day, feeling as if it would last forever. Tasting the warmth that this could be all the days, for the rest of your days. I hold onto the idea of long lasting moments with you, and every other person I will ever love. Because I am inexplicably drawn to the promising grasp in the arms of always, knowing that there is the possibility in my soul for so much more than here and now. My reality has shifted, and maybe it won’t always be so beautiful, so vibrant, so much. So, how did it feel? It felt like time warping around two souls, bending light, space and gravitational pulls to make sense of something that can’t be explained plainly. It was the back breaking weight of nothing and everything, molding bones into new forms, offering up our most sacred parts to another, lending a hand, piecing together a heart. It was more, because it changed me. And I hold onto that most.
I should have told you to stay, I should have told you that I’m scared to death, I should have told you I loved you -but no one ever says what they mean.
We would all rather be tortured with our love, than to set it free.
I thought about this while I dreamed, and every moment in between the memories.
I wanted to love you like the fall. The way autumn turns the color of leaves.
From green to red, I’d know you’d feel the passion of all that love. I wanted to be something so natural to you, that you’d feel it innately, running through your veins, just like the roots and those trees.
Blowing through each others branches, like a season that just couldn’t quit.
I felt the same way that hot chocolate keeps your hands from freezing; the steady warmth and promising sweet. I wanted to love you like the entire season.
But the problem with loving you like that, is right after, winter blows through. The leaves fall and slowly crunch under our feet, until they are buried below the flurries.
I chose the wrong season. The wrong time. Maybe the wrong way to love.
So next time, I’ll try the spring.
I thought I met you when I was sixteen. When the world was only captured in the right here and right now. I gave you my love, my soul, and thought it would be enough. But we eventually applied for college, moved out from our hometowns, and that was when the world grew big. Too big for us to love each other, and I realized it wasn’t you.
I thought I met you when I was nineteen. I was a little older this time, living some 400 miles from the place that I learned about growing. We changed each other over the span of four months, and I believed that this could be it. So I let love back in under spring skies and in between the light of the days. You lingered on my my bed sheets for two weeks, and a year I chased a ghost through my heart. I left for home a summer later, and I realized it wasn’t you.
I thought that I met you when I turned twenty one. So much was left to interpretation on the good faith of wine soaked lips. Punch drunk love comes to mind- when I can still feel balmy summer nights running under the faded tan of summer skin. Passion burned for three long weeks, and each day was treated like the last. You are still my favorite summer memory, with you there and me here. Making dinner for one in my new apartment kitchen, I realized it wasn’t you.
You see, it was never supposed to be about you. It was always supposed to be about how much I loved myself in those moments. I could have met a million you’s, but coming home to me feels better. So, maybe this is where I need to start all over again. As the leaves fall, I’ll let the love remain. Meeting myself somewhere between it all.
Realizing, for now, this is enough.