Afraid to Go Back There

I booked the nicest suite in the hotel by the beach. I lit the tea light candles around the room and made it into our oasis. I got caught in a rainstorm with you and had to run through it in sandals so we could crawl back under the covers and spend the night accompanied by the flicker of candlelight and your skin against mine. I studied the art murals. Okay, that’s a lie. I studied you while you studied the art. I watched as your face lit up on the boardwalk. I shared my ice cream and admired the smile on your face as you finished the cone. I traded in our ski ball tokens for matching candy bracelets. I braved the ocean to chase you to the ends of the earth. I smiled as we downed our third round of cocktails on the sand. I sipped frosé until I lost all inhibitions and turned into a sexual deviant. I watched as you admired each freckle on my sun-kissed skin, wishing you would reach down and press your lips to each one that swept over my chest. I laughed as you admired my curls from the salty air. I whispered I love you for the first time. And then I said it again. I giggled as you did a happy dance reading the dinner menu each night. I (poorly) resisted the urge to keep my hands off of you at the dinner table. I flashed my camera as you took your first bite, white wine draped between your fingertips. I captured the moment of you, peering into the sunset and taking a picture of the way it set over the lake with the American flag waving in the wind. I set the picture as my phone wallpaper. I interlaced your fingers in mine as we explored the town. I nibbled on hash browns after you took a picture with your first Dunkin’ donut. I giggled like a child when you whispered, “thank you,” each time I pressed a soft kiss to your forehead. I smiled for bathroom photo shoots. I felt the safety of your arms around me as you clung to me in the pool. I fell in love. Over and over again. Harder than ever. With no way of resurfacing for air.

Talking to Strangers

I spent all my spare time in the comfort of strangers talking about you. Never wanting to shut up about my love for you. About the pride I have for you. About all my favorite things about you.

I spent elevator rides conversing with a stranger with an English accent about how she came to America and what part of England she was from because she sounded like you.

I spent hours pulling a chair up beside the concierge of my building to tell her how I’d planned to propose to you. Showing her the ring I’d been saving for.

I spent lunch breaks gossiping with coworkers about how fanfiction works and about how incredibly talented you are. I even had a few who read your work just so we could discuss it, because they saw the way my face lit up whenever I spoke of you.

Do you know what I miss most? The way I could feel a sense of calmness inside of me when I spoke of you. The way my face would light up when someone even said your name. The way I could spend hours telling a complete stranger how much I love you and plan to spend the rest of my days making you happy.

It’s just another thing I’ve lost. I’ve lost you. I’ve lost myself. I’ve lost the joy I feel inside when I speak your name and know I’ll see you soon and someday get to call you my wife.

It’s all ruined, you’re gone and that sense of calm has fled along with you. Yes, there are days when I start to believe I deserve to forgive myself. But then there are moments like these – times when I recognize that calmness is missing. But I don’t want it back. Not without you. Because I’d rather spend all my days missing you than trying to search for that sense of joy and calmness in someone else.

One More Night

Do you ever wonder why we had that extra night? Like it was gifted to us. I don’t always believe in higher powers or things happening for a reason, but it’s things like this that make me question it all.

My flight was cancelled, do you remember? The winds were too strong – planes couldn’t take off. They had to put all the travelers up in an airport hotel. An inconvenience to most travelers, sure. But for us? But now? All I can think about is how grateful I am to have had that one extra night indulging in you. As if some higher power knew what greater storm we were about to face, so it stirred up that wind storm and kept me close to you.

One extra night in the same time zone, where it wasn’t London and New York. Just you and me.

One extra night spent laughing with you between every kiss. One extra night with our bodies intertwined between the sheets. One extra night sharing dinner together, smiling and chatting without a care in the world. One extra night sleeping with my arms holding you tightly against me and refusing to let go. One extra night singing along to show tunes and giggling as we stumbled over the wrong words.

One extra night of love.
One extra night of warmth.
One extra night of us.
One extra night of all the things I miss most.

One extra night of all the things I didn’t appreciate enough until long after my flight touched back down.

The Letter I Actually Sent

True love isn’t something that happens often.

For some, they may never find it. For others, it comes more than once in a lifetime. You’ll know you have it when you’re with someone and they don’t just make you happy, because plenty of people can come along and make you happy, but they make you the best possible version of yourself. They’ll bring you up on your bad days, celebrate with you on your better days, give you strength and hope and courage and newfound wisdom as you grow together.

They’re not just someone you’re compatible with and enjoy being around. If you’re one of the lucky ones who found this true love, hold on to it. Fight like hell for it every day. Don’t ever let it slip away. Because you’ll never be the same once it’s gone.

I know this because I was one of those fools who let it slip between my fingertips… slowly watching it fade into the distance like the sunset collapsing slowly into the dark night sky.

And even if I’m not one of those few who can find true love like that again… you are. You’ve found another person in this world who makes you happy, who you miss when they’re gone as if they’re a part of you.

It’s no longer my presence you crave or my hand you wish to hold. It’s no longer my soft lips you wish you kiss goodnight before you drift off to sleep each night. It’s no longer my arms you need wrapped around you or my touch you desire.

But let me tell you this. True love usually comes only once, but you’re a lucky one. You have a future and you have happiness with another person who makes you feel complete.

And if that’s the case, what kind of person would I be to stand in your way of that?