It’s 6am Sunday morning and most people are getting ready to start their day, but I’m staring out the window listening to melancholic music and pouring myself another drink as I watch the sun come up, the golden light replacing the crisp, cool light of last night’s full moon. I haven’t slept. I rarely sleep before sunrise these days.
A week ago this morning, he was walking me to my car, after many hours of talking, listening to music, smoking on the porch, kissing…and more kissing.
Honestly, I was surprised he offered to walk me to my car, because I can’t even remember the last time he did. Usually, I’d either leave in the middle of the night after he fell asleep, or on rare occasions when I’d stay the entire night, he’d kiss me goodbye when his alarm went off and go hop in the shower to get ready for work as I let myself out.
Staring out the window now during this perfectly peaceful golden hour, I find myself lost in thoughts of that morning. As we left his house, the bright golden light washed over everything and hurt my tired eyes, but it didn’t keep me from looking over at him holding my hand as we walked down the sidewalk towards my car. I wanted to walk slower, to try and prolong those last moments with him, not knowing how long it’d be until I saw him again. I wanted to memorize his face and that moment and that feeling, almost in disbelief that I was there once more, after all this time, again.
Once we reached my car, he turned to put his arms around me and quickly said “I love you” before his lips met mine. I could barely pull away to awkwardly stutter out “I love you, too”, because it took me by surprise… Not because he never says that he loves me, because he actually says that quite often when we talk. But it’s usually during some heavy conversation where he’s asking me why I keep waiting for him or want to be with him, and I tell him that I love him, and he tells me he loves me too. This time just seemed so.... Normal. So natural. A roll-off-the-tongue kind of “I love you” that you’d say to someone who you said it to every day. A casual send-off, a small reminder. Those kind of “I love you’s” between us are rare. Very rare. So rare that I have already convinced myself that possibly he said it as a mistake, out of habit from his relationship that just ended. Maybe he’s used to saying that to HER, not to me. But, I digress. I do know he loves me in some strange way and I know that even if it was a slip of the tongue, it wasn’t something he’d regret saying to me. It just caught me off guard, but that’s not to say I didn’t like it. I probably liked it too much, considering how much I just wrote about that small moment.
Earlier that night, I told him that I loved him - but it was a part of a larger conversation. We had been kissing for a while, when he suddenly pulled away and asked me why I want to be with him, and why I haven’t found someone else. This time, he prefaced the question by saying that he knows he’s asked it a million times and he knows I hate it - so at least I know that he has memory of how many times we have talked about this… But, again, I try to give him an answer - for the hundredth time.
I tell him that I knew I loved him the moment I met him, all those years ago when we were teenagers. This summer will mark 18 years since we met in person for the first time, when I was just 16 years old and he was 15… I had waited months to meet him in person after we started chatting on AIM, and he wouldn’t show me a picture of himself… but I knew I had a crush on him anyway. Finally, when we met in person, the first time we hugged… I just knew. I felt it. And I’ve never felt anything like it since - despite all the people I have touched, dated, loved… Nothing’s ever compared to how I feel when I’m with him. Sometimes, your heart just knows.
I’m not sure he believes me, despite the valid arguments I present to him. Arguments that I have come up with and memorized in the time we have spent apart, in large part due to writing in this journal and sorting my feelings out. What I write in this journal a thousand times is so clear in my head, but as soon as I try to articulate it to him, I stammer and stutter and have a hard time explaining myself. Usually, it leads to an interruption or the conversation veering in another direction, so I am not sure he ever truly gets the full picture of what I’m trying to say.
His voice breaks through my silence as he says “you can’t deny it, you have always kept a piece of your heart for me”.
And even though I am literally sitting across his lap, my face inches from his, I look away from his inquisitive gaze, trying to think of a way to tell him that he’s wrong. He’s wrong because I haven’t just kept a “piece” of my heart for him all these years…I’ve kept my whole entire heart for him since day one.
I’m sure he knows this. Anyone who knows me probably knows this. I’ve never truly opened my heart to anyone else the way I have with him, and I’ve never been able to forget him. And I never will.
Most of the rest of our night was light, fun, easy. Even though I hadn’t been inside his house in 2 years, it felt quite normal. We talked a lot… I suppose we had a lot to catch up on. He told me some of the circumstances of his relationship and breakup, so I feel I have a better understanding of the situation. We told stories, he read me some poetry he’d recently discovered, and it led us into a conversation about poetry and had us standing on the porch, huddled over his phone, listening to spoken-word versions of Charles Bukowski’s poetry as we smoked… Then, we went inside to his bookshelf where he pulled out some of his poetry books, and flipped through random pages, reading me whatever poem he landed on. One hit way too close to home, and we put the book back and sat on the couch, watching music videos, singing along to old 90’s covers and emo songs from our youth. Eventually, we both had our spotify accounts pulled up on our phones, going through our playlists and having each other listen to songs we liked. He laughed at all of my jokes, like I was truly funny and he was truly having a good time… I felt cool. I felt cute. I felt special. At one point he started talking about how much of a mess he was and he didn’t understand why I wanted to be around him, and in-between puffs of my joint, I told him that I was “having a great time and felt awesome”. I knew how stoned and stupid I sounded, but it’s truly how I felt - He laughed, smiling at me while shaking his head and repeating “you feel awesome?” All I could so was laugh and say was yeah, I feel awesome. Because in that moment with him, I truly did. And that’s such a rare thing for me to feel these days.
Neither of us even realized when the sun came up.
When we finally did realize it was 6am, I almost felt like my heart sank. I didn’t want the night to go that quick. As a homebody, it’s so weird for me to actually not want to go home… but I didn’t want those good feelings to end. It had been so long since I felt them.
And that is when I gathered my things and he walked me to my car.
In the week since, he’s been on my mind constantly. But, as usual, I haven’t heard from him much. I sent a couple texts that he replied to, but that was the extent of things - no conversations and I have no idea what he’s thinking or up to. I know things are hectic for him right now and things are up in the air regarding his breakup, but it’s hard not to start to wonder if I did something wrong, or if he regretted it, or.... or… or… whatever. I truly am glad he’s at least talking to me, and grateful I was at least able to see him after so long, and who am I to complain after so long without him?
“Now he’s moving close,
My heart in my throat.
I won’t say a word,
But I think he knows
That I’ve hardly slept,
Since the night he left.
His body always kept,
Mine inside of it.
Keep the nightmares out,
Give me mouth to mouth.
I can’t live without you,
Take me to your house.
Last updated July 05, 2020