The End of All that I Knew

Stars

I will make sure to keep my distance, say “I love you” when you’re not listening.
– Distance, Christina Perri and Jason Mraz

My heart aches whenever I look at him now. It physically hurts.

And it is all my fault.

I can still remember the first time he introduced himself to me. We shook hands – which seems absolutely ridiculous when I think of what we were and maybe still are to each other – and I could feel the static cling between us. I felt my lips part slightly when he repeated my name back to me.

And I swear to God it felt like something out of a freakin’ movie. Like a freight train had pushed me off of a cliff and now I was finally seeing the beauty in free falling. This connection I had to another human being – quite frankly, was nearly unbelievable with how instantaneous it was. And how incredibly strong it became.

Strong enough to spend hours lying in each other’s naked arms while he ran his index finger along the ridge of my nose and I scrunched my eyes shut because sometimes nothing you could ever possibly see will amount to the happiness you feel and so you just need a moment of darkness to bask in the emotion.

Powerful enough for me to share the violent secrets of my past, only to have him breathe sweet words in return. Whispers that I ache to replay now. Like saved voicemails from over six months ago. Even the one where he called just to ask me the name of a song he had heard, but for the life of him, could not recall any of the actual lyrics, so the entire voicemail is the hum of his voice as he tries to harmonize this forgotten tune. A lullaby that takes my heartbeat back to the night we lay hand in hand in his backyard, with our eyes facing the stars as we kept wishful thinking alive and filled our shadows with electricity.

And I have come to realize that I can fill pages of prose solely with him. My muse. The one that used to encourage me to not only write inspirationally, but live inspirationally.

But what fruitless branches I have sprung since I left him. No, actually, I didn’t leave. I ran. Like a coward. I ran away from this unearthly being that flowed with angels’ blood because every part of his essence terrified me. Falling in love with him terrified me. Because it would be the end of all that I knew.

And so I never admitted to another soul that I actually had fallen in love with him. I fell for his soul varnished with gold that understood true agony and the reckoning that comes from freeing yourself from your own prison. I adored the way his face contorted when he became transfixed on something, especially when that something was me. But most of all, I loved that he unfurled me from everything timid and helped me see that being vulnerable is to fill our hearts with fire and open like tender flowers that dare to bloom even in the wake of careless snowstorms.

Vulnerable as I was, I still managed to stir the prowling creature of Disaster. I should have plunged. Plummeted. Instead I panicked. I became a crazy corpse of the woman I hoped to avoid becoming. And I blindsided him with tragedy that shattered our unspoken love and rattled our bond that sequenced like human DNA strings. Even as a wounded warrior, he was still beautiful. He was still stunning.

And now I no longer cling to his naked body, but lie in the ample arms of Regret. Regret – a face that does not smirk at me, that does not wink at me like he so often did, but holds me down like a tortured animal wondering how they caught their paw in the bear trap in the first place.

So I spend each night with my eyes pleading to the stars, keeping my own wishful thinking alive. As Peter Pan did, I try to separate from my shadow – I beg it to go find him and scrawl the ask of a second chance upon his olive green curtains.

He saw the deepest parts of me, even where cocoons of butterflies lined my stomach. And the flutter of their wings would rise and fall like fairy dust every time he looked at me. Pixels of color that painted the words of this love story in dazzling hues. Every time until I ran away.

And now my heart aches whenever he looks at me. It physically hurts.

And it is all my fault.

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