I’m not sure if you’ll ever read this.
I guess I kind of hope you will, but I’m not going to kid myself.
I haven’t seen you in over a week, haven’t spoken to you since Sunday. Our exchange was brief, and I instigated it with a seemingly innocent text. You responded promptly, and were cordial. It took sheer willpower to allow a week of no contact to span between us, and a mountain of restraint not to blurt out how I’ve been feeling. I need to tell someone before it all pours out of me, so I’m going to start writing our story. It’s all that I can think of to do.
A lot of strange things have been happening lately.
A lot of strange things.
Strange things that led me to you.
Why do you think that is, exactly?
We were supposed to meet, for reasons I can’t presently explain.
We were destined to meet.
When I think too hard about it, I wonder if I’m even alive anymore.
I wonder if I’ve crossed over into some parallel universe, where my life is supernatural. I may be in Heaven. Or Hell.
But I guess I’m breathing, so I must be alive.
Yeah, that proves it.
Okay good, still alive. Check.
If I begin to recall my life in its entirety, strange things have happened to me all along. My younger, logic-minded self dismissed them as coincidences, or blips on the screen. I never thought too hard about them, or about who I really am.
I’m starting to get an idea of who I am, but I don’t think you’re ready for it.
Hell, I don’t think I’m ready for it. Not quite yet.
Back to you.
Here’s the thing — I love you.
I realized it on the last day I saw you, when we went our separate ways. I’ve been battling off feelings for a while, swatting them away despite their niggling in the back of my brain. My life is too complicated to love anyone.
But I do.
I love you.
It has taken me thirty-three years to understand what it means to be in love with someone. I’ve had crushes, been attracted to people, been infatuated, fallen for emotionally-unavailable men, and everything in between…but this?
This is love.
You’re single (as you’ve made it known), so this really should be simple, but I refuse to tell you how I feel. I don’t want to drag you into the complexities of my life right now. I’ll go more into that later (I know you already have some idea). It must be love, because I’m falling on my own sword here — hurting myself and not showing you my true heart, because I care about you more than my own happiness.
Maybe I’m in denial when I call myself a martyr, and I’m just scared of the rejection I’d feel if my love weren’t reciprocated.
But I don’t think so.
The timing isn’t right. Something is keeping us apart. It’s as if we were standing on opposite sides of the earth when a crack ruptured between us. I’ve been trying to understand why this is happening. It has to be the unresolved mess I’m wallowing in, or maybe you’re even more afraid than I am. You said you’ve never had a broken heart (something I find shocking)— is this because your shields are always up?
I saw the way you looked at me, when I came bursting back into the door after you thought we had parted for good. I saw right through you — saw the way you melted when I gushed to your boss how wonderful you were as an instructor, and how I wished I had the money to keep going with our lessons. I had to tell her before I left for good because you deserved the recognition.
I also had to see you one last time.
If I hadn’t turned my car back around and charged into her office, I wouldn’t have seen it on your face.
Your eyes looked up — they were dark and stormy — almost black, and they softened immediately when they beheld me. You looked at me like I was an angel on Earth — a rare and unobtainable creature — and there was a tinge of sadness too. It was the sadness of goodbye. No one’s looked at me like that in a long time, and it’s not the kind of look you can fake.
When I start to question everything, I remember that look.
So I’m going to write this all down.
Maybe it’s a story we’ll read together one day.
Probably not, unless Heaven really is a place on Earth.
I’m in Quarantine right now. Our state is in Quarantine. The world even — is in Quarantine. My job’s on hold, my life is on hold, my heart is on hold…
So I guess I have nothing else to do, but to write down our story, and the surreal circumstances in which we met. I’m going to write what led me to you, and about the time our paths were interlaced.
It’s a bit of a doozy.