I’ve loved one man for what feels like eternity. You know the feeling, when someone’s just around so much that you kind of get into the habit of having them around. And you don’t remember a time they weren’t there? That’s probably why those two years feel like eternity.
People love the sight of a happy couple, each element spectacular in its own way, yet somehow only complete as a whole. They idealize the couple, encourage the relationship, and celebrate its prosperity. It’s a wonderful feeling to be in a relationship like that.
And then the fights start.
About things that matter, at first.
Then, about things that don’t really matter so much.
And then, just because. Because of ego and arrogance and who has the upper hand and because, in a relationship, you get what give.
I’ve loved one man for what feels like eternity.
You get used to things, you know. The good morning texts, the smell of his hair, the way his arm feels around your waist, the look in the honey brown of his eye as he watches you sleep.
You get used to other things too, his un-ironed shirts, his funny hairstyle, his morning baritone and his concerned questions. And you slowly learn to appreciate everything, not because of love, but because you feel safe with the things that feel familiar. And no matter where you go and what you do, at the end of the day, after all the fame and money and popularity and attention, all you really want is to come home.
It’s a curious feeling; losing someone you love. It makes you wonder, what if? What if I’d called him that day? What if I’d always answered all his questions patiently? What if I’d moved to his city even though he never asked? I should have known, right?
But then you begin to ask yourself different questions, and that’s where it gets really messed up. What if he isn’t the one for me in the first place? What if all the fights just stem from the fact that he doesn’t get me and I don’t get him and nothing can ever be done about it? And then you look out the window and sigh as the last of the raindrops falls to the ground and you wish you had some way of looking into the future and seeing what it’s like.
I used to close my eyes and see images of what our future would look like. I’d see him in the garden, with our little girl on a tricycle, barbequing the chicken I’d just marinated, looking up at me and smiling, not having to say anything to convey the feeling because in all those years we’d spent together, I’d learnt what each expression of his meant. And nobody knew but he had a secret smile and he’d use it only for me. And as I looked at him, a warm fuzzy feeling went straight from my heart to my toes and me eyes would well up because in my heart I knew it’s hard to keep intact something that’s so perfect.
And suddenly, I can’t see that image any more. I see a figure in the garden, but I’m not so sure of it. The little girl doesn’t have the straight silky hair she used to and the barbecue’s a disaster and the face looks up at me and smiles, but I can’t tell what the smile means. My heart’s racing with all the unfamiliarity haunting me and I open my eyes and blink hard to try and hold back the tears, as it sinks in that forever isn’t what it used to be.
I love watching people alone. Being themselves, nobody to judge them, nobody for them to impress. I love it when people are drunk and crying as they talk and you can’t make out word from word but you know every bit of it is sheer honesty. At weddings, when the bride first walks in and everyone turns to look at her, I turn to look at the groom because I love the look on his face at that moment. I love the look he’d give me when I’d wake him up with a kiss on his nose and he’d realise he was waking up to me. I fell in love with the innocence in our love, to be honest. That’s why it’s so hard.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Well, Maya Angelou may have said this once but I too have learned it, from life, in general. I don’t remember what he said or what he did, but I know how he made me feel. His. He made me feel like I belonged to him. It’s a beautiful feeling, belonging to someone. It makes you a freer person. Makes you worry less and smile more. Your happiness multiplies when you share it with them and you sorrows disappear; it’s a wonderful feeling to just belong as you wear the smile they give you. Their love makes you beautiful.
But here’s the thing, if you got everything you wanted, you’d go mad. I want a dream proposal and an exquisite wedding and a long and happy marriage and I want it with him but if I did get it, I’d spend a lot of time worrying about how fragile it all is. There are too many mediocre things in life, and love shouldn’t be one of them. It should fill your heart and make you want to jump and sit down at the same time because the excitement of it all is wearing you down as it comes.
And maybe, maybe, what I feel for him is as epic as it gets. Maybe he just doesn’t feel the same way. And maybe there’s nothing anyone can do about it, except share exactly how they feel in the most beautiful way they know how and pray, pray really hard that it works. And in the odd case that it doesn’t, one can still save a smile because the only honest to god romantic thing left in this world is unrequited love. Sometimes your tank is fuelled up, but the tracks just end. And it’s not your fault and it’s not anyone else’s fault so you cry a little and wipe your tears and wait.
And you learn to build all your roads on today, because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
With every goodbye, you learn.
He’d always been everything. And this could be the end of everything, of my world as I know it. I can’t find another constant when all the equations are based on this one.
It’s as simple as that.