What’s Next? ~ A Resolution in Happiness

When we first met, I wondered if I could miss you. You stood next to me, trying to make me laugh, telling me stories, maneuvering your way around the defenses that I was so eagerly putting up, and I wondered what it would feel like to miss you.

We drank wine out of plastic cups. We walked in circles around records and around people. You were trying harder than I thought you would. You were gentler than I could have imagined.

So many words danced on the tip of my tongue. So many truths, so many stories, so many flaws, so many habits. I wanted to kiss you the first time you said “goodbye”. I was scared, I was nervous. 

And then a month, and a date, and a thousand kisses, and I missed you. I felt fragile and alone in the city for the first time. I felt small and insignificant beneath the weight of the buildings and all of the people who didn’t care about me. When my family was gone and I locked myself in my temporary bedroom just to feel some familiarity, I found comfort in hearing your voice. My hands missed your body, my heart missed your promise.

I dreamed up horrible, wonderful, chaotic futures for us. But never this. Never this shock, never something so sudden. Not from you. I’ve been tracing the patterns of your words and your actions, searching for any subtle hint, any single, tiny sign that I should have considered with greater weight. All I’ve found is your sweetness. Your generosity. The kindness in your quiet voice.

I keep waiting for that too-familiar pang of sadness to settle into my limbs. The ache that makes me want to stretch out my arms to reach you. That awful realization. The ghost of heartbreak resurfacing between every blink, breath, and heartbeat.

I keep waiting to sink back into the loneliness and the desperation that once broke my bones and drowned my eyes. To be unable to find the line between being completely empty and being filled with pain. I keep expecting to feel weak. To want to crawl into the darkness of anywhere just to sleep and to dream and to forget.

But instead I sit cross-legged, breath steady, eyes wide and dark and anxious and wondering — what’s next? My lips are overwhelmed by a relentless smile. My thoughts are soaring upward and onwards, through the clouds and toward the stars, never stopping, never yielding, never apologizing. 

I’ll hold tightly onto the knowledge that I tried my hardest to be patient and kind and brave. I’ll pocket the memory of the blaze of possibility that blossomed the first time you kissed me and an afternoon of believing that you were the most perfect thing I could ever know. Because for a moment, you were perfect. The moment has melted away into nothingness, but it still existed. For a moment, amidst the nerves that made my hands shake and the fear that glistened in my eyes, I fell in love and you were perfect. 

I can cradle all of my sadness in my hands. I can catch the regret and stomp it out before it is ignited into loneliness. You didn’t dig your fingers deep enough into my skin to break my heart. You didn’t sing your promises quietly enough.

The first time I missed you was the last time I missed you. I’ll keep trying to surround myself with real love; you can keep yourself buried in your irrationalities and your anger and your bitter resentment. I’ll happily keep the light of my heart far away from the darkness of yours.