To my Love…
The first time I met you was five years ago. It wasn’t meant to be anything more than a cup of coffee between two friends; you were just passing through on your way to somewhere else on a road trip through my country.
Then I saw you, and my heart forgot how to beat as it recognized you from somewhere else. Another time. Another life. Or maybe from a dream.
You must have felt it, too, because that one cup of coffee lasted for a week.
One week of laughter, of time with me and my daughters. One week of seeing you sleep with my youngest girl on your chest during the afternoons, and that’s the moment that I knew that this was where we all belonged: right there, together, was where we would find home.
When the week had passed, you needed to leave and I understood. You had places to be, things to see. Three more weeks until you had to return to work.
So you left…
One week went by, then two…
And you came back. You didn’t visit all the places you’d planned to because you wanted to return to us.
I was given one more week of sleeping with my head on your chest and your arms around me. I was in heaven. We never even did anything really special – just family things. And yet it was the most amazing time for all four of us.
We both knew it couldn’t last, but we never said anything about it. Not out loud.
Time went by fast and you returned to your work and your studies across the sea. We kept contact. I made some things right and I made some things wrong but you always understood and I always tried not to show to much of what I felt. (May I add that I’m really bad at not showing my feelings?)
You always told me to not put my life on hold for you. You didn’t want a relationship, couldn’t have one. There was just no time, no possibility, no chance to make it work.
I always told you it was okay, even though somewhere inside of me I knew it wasn’t. But I accepted it: this is how things had to be.
More time passed by… You wanted me to come to you and I never even thought twice about it: I just got the ticket and left to follow my heart.
I thank the greater power every day for giving me that one more week with you.
You were working when I was there but I didn’t mind because we were together. I spent the days exploring the city, reading a book with a coffee in my hand and getting what I needed from the store to have dinner ready when you came home.
I was in my own paradise because I shared it with you, but still, the insecurity of the young woman I was lingered, always present just under the surface.
There were moments when that part got the best of me – moments when I let silent tears fall while lying in your arms. Moments when you were sleeping and I told you I loved you, words I could never speak while you were awake.
I knew you couldn’t be with me. I knew it would break your heart to hurt me. But it made me love you even more.
I loved you for always ‘hurting’ people with the truth rather than making them happy with a lie, even when the person was me. I don’t think I have ever thanked you for that, maybe someday I will.
After I left, we stayed in touch the way people do these days: Facebook, email, the occasional phone call, but we still haven’t seen each other again.
Five years… You told me not to wait, you told me to find someone to love me because you couldn’t give me what I deserved… So I did; I found someone.
But what I did was wrong for all of us.
I entered the relationship with the thought that I would make it work just to show you I really could. I was childish in my actions, and for that I’m truly sorry.
When he asked me to marry him after just a short while I said yes, but then I wrote you an email asking you to stop me, telling you that all you needed to do was say you wanted me the way I want you and I wouldn’t go through with it.
Of course you didn’t. Instead, you wished me luck. But I could read between the lines. I could see that just as you’d hurt me, I had hurt you, too. By not stopping me, you tore my heart in two but worse still, I hurt us both because of stupidity.
I got married, and I stayed that way for a while but our contact never stopped and my love for you never faltered. In time even my own husband knew that my heart wasn’t in the relationship I had with him.
He asked me a few times about you, and I told him you were – are – my closest friend, and that I’ll never give you up. He knew, because it was etched in my eyes and face, that I would never come to love him like I love you, and in time that knowledge is what killed our marriage.
Since then, I’ve been on my own, just me and my daughters who are growing up fast, but they remember you. They still talk about you. They always have. (My youngest one told me at one point to kick my ex-husband out and marry you instead. If only it were so easy!)
Every time they make a picture of us, you are always in the picture too. Every time they write our names, there’s always your name too. They haven’t seen you in five years, still you’re always in their hearts and minds.
Love like that is pure and hard to find.
My mother asked me a while ago why I don’t start dating again, and all I could do was to tell her the truth: If it’s not you then I’d rather just be on my own. It’s not worth it. I’m doing really good by myself with my girls by my side. We are strong and happy. Why would I change that for someone I do not even know?
My heart and soul belong to you and you alone, and while I hold out the hope that we will, someday, be able to be together, if it should happen that you meet someone who fits better into your life, then I hope you will find the greatest possible love with them.
How strong is my love for you? I love you enough to wish you love and laughter and children of your own. I love you enough to live my life without you if it is what I have to do.
But most of all, I just love you.
Image Copyright: dedivan1923 / 123RF Stock Photo
About the Author: Caroline Persson
Caroline Persson is the founder of Perfect Balance. She lives in Osby, Sweden with her two daughters, where she enjoys reading, writing, and family silliness, all punctuated by cups of coffee. Find out more about her on her website: Perfect Balance, or on Facebook.