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.
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?
I’ve never been one to open up. But with you, I couldn’t stop myself. Everything I felt… it just forced its way out. Raw honesty was all I knew when it came to you. I used to be so distant, cold, closed off, walls up. But everyone knows all it takes is the right person coming along to break through those walls.
But suddenly, I began to learn the truth about what you needed me to be. You didn’t want to be with me. You just needed an emotional crutch to help you through. And I was vulnerable, so I let you take what you needed, regardless of the cost. Even when the weight became too heavy for me to hold.
We’d never be what I wanted us to be, but you kept reaching out, so I remained hopeful. And I continued to fall.
When I finally mustered up the courage to take what was between us a step further, you weren’t ready. I pushed you too far and soon realized a hard lesson to learn.
I learned the hard way that you can’t force someone to feel the same way you do.
You’d never be able to feel for me, and I was shattered. I slipped on my sneakers, running faster and further than ever before. But even when I stopped running, the pain remained. And reality set in that I needed to let you go.
The stranger I longed for needed to remain just a forever what-if.
I don’t even know how it happened. One day, I finally admitted I was living a lie and mustered up the courage. I never knew it would lead me to you. I certainly never expected… this.
I remember how mesmerized I was by the sight of you. Your smile radiated your spirit right through. I wasn’t certain of much at that moment, but I was certain about you.
Everything came so naturally for me, for us. I spilled my heart out and being vulnerable never felt so right.
Soon, just the thought of you would make me giddy. I’d smile in public. I’d laugh out loud, not caring who heard me. Your quirky comments made my life less of a burden. I didn’t care about what crumbled around me, because I had you and everything was right.
I fought exhaustion each night, desperate to keep talking to you. Refusing to ever say goodnight.
You shared a portion of your heart with me. Your words had me enchanted. You let your guard down, just to let someone like me in. And it was beyond beautiful, no amount of words I write could ever do it justice. I was inspired. I realized I finally found what I’d been searching for months, years even, to find.
I used to believe I was to blame. That I ruined what was blooming. But I’m not to blame at all. It was you who was afraid.
— And we weren’t blooming, we were burning.
Now, you’re just another stranger.
But tell me – how could a stranger force my heart to plummet completely into my stomach the moment I laid eyes on you again?