You know who you are.
Little did I know getting that job at the coffee shop my freshman year of college would lead to something such as this – something so wonderful, yet terribly, painfully beautiful all at the same time. I vividly remember one of the first days I came into work I saw you. You were also wearing a green apron. You were sweeping in the lobby. Something that I have never before experienced happened…our eyes met and something welled up within me. I had this feeling about you…I knew there was something significant…something special…important about you. We fit automatically, always making each other smile and laugh. You always gave me a hard time but I loved it. We never ran out of things to talk about, to share, things to laugh about. I quickly liked you…now that I look back on it and know what I know now (4 years later), I loved you at first sight. I just didn’t know it yet. We were both with other people.
I moved away and back home partially (okay, mostly) to escape you. I have told you this now. I was with someone else, and I could feel myself pulling toward you. I was young. I should have listened to such a pull, but I have always been one to worry about others’ feelings more than my own, and I stayed with the one I was with at the time. We lost touch for a little while, but soon we began to talk again. I had moved out of the state with my boyfriend. I was in another world. But still, my heart remained with you and I thought of you often.
I remember the day I ducked into that huge stone building downtown and told you, over the phone, that there was something there (was I crazy or did you feel it too?) and you confirmed something that I had always felt: I liked you…very, very much. I was intrigued by you. I never wanted to stop talking to you. However, I remained torn, as I had been with my boyfriend for a few years by then. I was attached to him. I cared for him; I loved him as well. Finally, our secret feelings were revealed and I felt terrible. I felt awful that I had hurt the one I was with. I tried to convince myself that what I felt for you was unreasonable – I had never been with you anyway, how would I know what it was really like to love you? We had never even touched, aside from the occasional brush by or run in at work during morning rush hour. For a little while, I almost convinced myself. But before I knew it, there you were, again, back in my head and my heart. I couldn’t stop thinking of you.
We didn’t talk for a long time after that. I don’t remember what started it back up again, but we began to communicate again. I was still in my relationship. However, I worked up the nerve to tell him that I had strong feelings for you and I needed to explore those. You came to see me. Someone recently asked me what was the happiest I’ve ever been. Those four days we spent together…that was my answer. We talked, I could feel you, our hands clasped together, you held me. We made love. For hours. Fell asleep together. You kissed my back to wake me. It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had. You left (you didn’t want to but you had to work), and I ended up allowing myself to be reeled back in by my ex. I felt too bad hurting him…I still couldn’t go through with it. I wish I had, because now I feel like I’ve almost lost you. I hurt you so much by making this decision, and as of now, it is the biggest regret of my life.
I came back home to visit and all I could think about was hoping that I’d see you. I did see you. We meant to just hug and catch up but we never could really hold back from each other. There was this electricity with us that neither of us could really understand or explain. We were like magnets, trying to stay apart only made it worse. We were together, and all I could think about was you. I think I was just too scared to end my relationship altogether. I wasn’t strong enough. My ex had threatened suicide the time before, and I couldn’t deal with the thought of being even semi-responsible for such a horrifying occurrence. I returned to him yet again, after being with you…again. My heart longed for you. It ached. I wanted you. No one but you. I knew I had messed up again when I heard from you again and part of your letter was “I thought that when you left, you were just…gone again.” I can’t even begin to understand the confusion you probably felt surrounding me and my emotions and inability to leave a harmful situation. However, at the same time, you know my heart, you know I am “mercy,” like we talked about, and sometimes I just feel too much. This doesn’t, however, make what I did to you right.
I finally worked up the strength to end things with my ex. I knew I loved you. I had to come to you and try, once and for all, to express how I felt and let you know how sincere I was about you. It had been nearly 4 years, after all, and I couldn’t forget about you, no matter how hard I tried. And God, had I tried. I came to see you at that same coffee shop…but you seemed different. Guarded. You gave me a side hug. My heart hurt a little bit, but at the same time, I understood. I tried to give you time…but you know how I am…my passion gets in the way sometimes. I tried to talk to you, to convince you I wasn’t going back like I had done so many times before. You kept your distance. I know I had scared you away – I had hurt you so badly. You had opened up to me in many ways I’m sure that you hadn’t opened up to anyone before, and I had burned you, without ever wanting to hurt you in any way, shape or form. All I had wanted was to love you. You finally came to see me and we were together again. It was cold. You shut down after it happened and told me that you had loved me, but you just didn’t know now. I wanted to burst into tears but I held them back and hurried inside my house. I had to get away. I had lost the love of my life without ever having him.
I moved to another state to accept a job. I tried to forget about you again. I dated a few people. But you were still there, in my head when I fell asleep at night. When my heart ached, I knew it was you. I could feel you sometimes (still) as I always had before. And I wanted to reach out and touch you. But I couldn’t. I had lost my chance. I began to date one man who caught my attention…we have been together for months now but I still think of you. His love for me is different than yours.
Against my better judgement, I decided to see you last time I was in town. The night started civil enough. We had an awesome conversation, laughed, had fun. Then we sat in the bed of your truck and the feelings rushed back for both of us (again, as they usually do). You knew I was with someone else. You said he doesn’t know how to love me, but you do. He is gruff with me and unemotional (most of the time), but you share every laugh with me, every smile, every passion. But you still don’t know what to do with me. You have a place for me in your heart, but you don’t know what that spot is reserved for anymore, exactly. It hurts to know that I caused you so much pain but at the same time, helped you feel such immense feelings of love and passion. I wish you could remember the latter more than the hurt of it all…I know I do. We kissed, you felt me again, I tried to keep my arms from wrapping around you, but it didn’t work.
I told you that maybe it’s better this way. This way, we don’t ever get the chance to really ruin it. You know? Like I said, after you’re with someone for a while, something seems to die. I don’t want what we have to ever die. But sometimes, I think I do, because then I could move on from you. However, I think I have come to accept that I’ll never get over you. I just hope and pray that I have the chance one day to be with you. For real be with you. You are…everything I have ever wanted.
I want to be my own person. I want to do great things. I want to travel. I want to be someone you admire, someone you adore. I want to read and learn new things and study. I will do all these things; I know it. I just hope that someday, down the road, you’re a part of it.
I hope that someday you can look over at me in the corner of our coffee shop and say, “yes, that is my wife.”
I love you. I always have and always will.