I remember when you rescued me in a dusty, cobwebbed stairwell. I thought then that it was the start of something special, and I never thought that it would end. I remember your chivalry and resourcefulness that led to our escape from a rather boring and pointless night trying unsuccessfully to help a dear friend get laid.
I also remember thinking it would have been a great story we would unabashedly regale our grandchildren and even great-grandchildren with. Our progeny and their progeny would cringe in embarrassment upon each retelling, but secretly envy our relationship of shameless love with no secrets.
You may not agree with my sentiment but that is how I felt. You were my best friend and confidante, and we were a great team. We had loyalty, love, mutual respect, pride and all the wonderful things that would have led to a humble abode. It would not have been a particularly large or luxurious abode, but it would have been cosy, bursting with love and laughter and overrun by an army of hyperactive and eccentric little ones of unclear racial heritage, hurtling through various rooms and storage spaces until they collided with the man who would surely be the Best Dad in the World: you.
I had never felt more jealous in my life than when I overheard you speaking with your nephew because I knew that, above all others, he was the first person you would love unconditionally, forever. Your voice almost broke when you told him that you would be with him soon and my heart almost broke then.
I remember that we basked in the warm, satisfied, glow of how lucky we were to have found each other, to have found love for the right reasons, and to have found someone so in tune with our crazy, unsociable, and surely deal-breaking habits of blackhead-squeezing and loud gargling.
I remember how unbeatable we felt, and how arrogant we were. We pitied other couples whom we deemed less connected and less well-matched, and whom, we were sure, had never felt and would never feel love as we did. And we loved. There was so much love in the way we looked at each other. There was so much love in our daily flirtation that any outsider would deem it probably downright psychotic. But that was our love and the way we loved, and knowing that nobody would understand or worse, enjoy our love as we did, added to its strength.
Then things slowly began to change. There was something I couldn’t be a part of. I did not like it at first, but I grew to accept it. I wanted to be given a chance but, having given me a number of chances before, you were reluctant to let me in. You thought you were protecting me, but you were denying me my voice and my right to be part of the biggest decision you would ever make in our relationship.
You were slipping away under the weight of a burden that should have been shared and I am sorry that I could not help you. I tried to reach out but you refused. You no longer desired my company, or to feel my warmth next to you as I slumbered. You tossed and turned, choosing, instead, to avoid conversation. By the time I finally managed to get you to talk about it, the decision had been made and it was far too late. You told me you could not deny yourself a chance at real happiness and my world came crashing down.
Our relationship lasted almost exactly one year. To think that when we first started going out, you were embarrassed by the seeming incongruity between the lengths of our love and the brevity of our relationship that you would tell people we’d been going out for far longer than we had.
It was a year of many wonderful and terrible moments, and you made me feel more alive and loved than I thought was possible. I know it has not been easy for you, and I hope that all the pain that we are feeling now will be replaced by the happiness and peace that you find. I will always love you.