She said that I didn’t fall in love with camp, I fell in love with you.
I didn’t think that it could be possibly be true. I always fought to be the “cold” and “heartless” one, it has kept me safe. If you don’t let people in you can’t get hurt. But on the flip side, if you don’t let people in are you really living?
One of my most fond memories is in truth a collage of memories. They play through my mind like a flashback in a movie every time that your eyes meet mine. I look at you and I see countless nights under the stars, my head on your chest and your hoodie on my body. I see the way you would smile when we would look at each other during an embarrassing moment. The way that when you would speak to me you would lean down slightly, as if in a futile attempt to make me feel taller.
In retrospect, those moment and exchanges were what really started it for me. I was so caught up in living in the moment and not thinking that I never truly stopped to notice what life would be like without those exchanges. I didn’t cherish them as I should have. Those looks and smiles that didn’t just stop at your cheeks, but went on to reach your eyes are what made my day. I never realized just how lucky I was to get to not only see those smiles, but be the cause of some of them.
You’ve always had impeccable taste in music, even when it was shitty music. By this I mean that you could suggest something like Pink Guy and I would listen to it and grow to love it, just as I would with something like Andy Shauf. These two artists are so vastly different that it is hard to believe that you recommended them to me. In truth, I couldn’t stand Pink Guy, but I learned to like his music. I learned to like his music because you did. I wanted to understand why you found his music to be so humourous and I think that I finally did. It could go from terrible and offensive to serious so quickly that some people wouldn’t even notice.
Flash forward a year and I have finally come to understand just how awesome of a human being you are. You are multifaceted, brilliant, beautiful on the inside and out, and patient; you never cease to amaze me. You have overcome so many things and I am so unbelievably grateful that you have given me a chance to be a friend. I left you when you needed me and I was so fucking stupid. I should have never picked up that drink, much less my phone. I should have listened to you when you told me that he was bad news. You were right. Leaving you is my single biggest regret in life. It fucked us both up and I still love you. I was drunk when I dumped you and I know it is so ridiculously selfish of me to want you back, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t. I won’t say those words to you. I started to, but I stopped myself because we were out of time. I told you that I love you. Or at least that I loved you. You’ve got someone new and I don’t want to ruin that. If changing my feelings to past tense will help you, then I will do it in a heartbeat.
I have come to learn that love is not just giving something up and if it comes back to you it is yours, but if it doesn’t it was never yours to begin with. It is being willing to not chase after whatever it is that was let go in the first place. Love is giving that thing or person space and time to grow and be happy without intruding, but still letting them know that you are there if they need anything. I may have kept my heart closed off to love, but you opened it. Even though I fought you and didn’t tell you when it mattered the most, I did love you. I still love you.
It breaks my heart just a little more every time that I see you and have to make the conscious decision not to sit right next to you. It sends a shock of pain through me every time that we meet eyes and yours don’t hold the same admiration that I am fighting to keep from mine.
Yesterday you were going to sit with me at dinner and I told you that you didn’t have to, because I knew that you were just doing it because you felt bad for me. I didn’t want for you to feel obligated to sit with me, but that doesn’t mean that I wanted you to leave. You did though. And when you did I had to leave because it hurt so bad. I had to walk away and conceal the tears in my eyes with a look filled with hate in order not to concern you.
I am trying to right my wrongs and fix my short comings, but I can’t fix everything. I can’t say sorry and suddenly make it so that there isn’t an awkward moment when we look at each other because we know exactly what is going through the mind of the other. I can’t bring myself to sit with you when there are a lot of people all vying for your attention because I would have a panic attack. I can’t adequately articulate my true feelings to you because it would hurt you and complicate things. I can’t look you in your eyes in broad daylight or at our spot and say “I love you” because those aren’t my words to say to you anymore. I refuse to take someone else’s words and make them my own when I am no longer deserving of them. I can’t say these things to you so instead I write them in a document that you will never read and I listen to the music that I associate with you. I can’t say these things to you, so instead I quickly look away when we meet eyes across the room and I keep to my side of the cafeteria. I don’t try to fit in with your friends because they aren’t my person, you are and that is why I don’t walk alone with you because I would tell you that.
You may not always see it and you may think that I am trying to ignore you or be rude to you, but in truth when I don’t speak I am protecting you. I am protecting you from the drama and needless pain that comes with everything that I wish I could say to you. I am truly doing my best not to slip up and hug you when I am having a bad day or when you look like you could use a hug, not because I don’t want to be held in your arms just one more time, but because I know that if I did get to be in your arms again I would never want to let go. I don’t get close to you because I don’t want to break down and cry and tell you everything because that wouldn’t be good for anybody. I don’t walk next to you when we are in a group because my hand would subconsciously reach for yours and that could have irreversible consequences. I don’t hold your eye contact for long periods of time like I would with anyone else to see how long it takes them to walk away because I know that I would fold and show my cards. I have a good poker face, but you make me crumble. A single look from you and I would practically be handing you my cards, much less showing a tell.
So please, don’t take my defensive words to heart. I am just trying to protect not only myself, but you as well. Now you know that, or at least you would if it wouldn’t do damage to tell you.