Everything was fine until the day you showed up. I hadn't thought about you for years. Okay, that's not true. But when I did think of you, it was like thinking of a past life that was as disconnected from my current existence as the time I spent overseas. There was true separation. A sense of finality. I knew I'd never see you again. And then, suddenly, you burst back into my life like a flower blooming out of season.
The first time you were the outlet for frustrated emotion, the salve on an open wound, the one who gave me the attention I craved. But the situation was impossible and even in cutting it short, I paid a heavy price. I know you did as well.
But this time, THIS time, it was different. You had changed and so had I. You were bolder and more desirable than ever before. You awoke long dormant passions that I didn't even know I had forgotten. You filled my world with danger, but also with beautiful possibilities. I loved how you made me feel and possibly even loved you.
Yes, I did love you. I see that now. Because when it came to making the choice, I made the choice that was best for you. Although I relapsed many a time (and may be relapsing now), each time it was a little more distant, a little less passionate, the light just a little bit dimmer.
So now? Now there is an emptiness in my heart. An emptiness that is only filled by your quick smile, your infectious laugh, your friendly banter. But those are things that cannot be.
You deserve more. Even if I were free to give my whole heart to you, you deserve better than me. I'm much more of a mess than I ever revealed to you. Even when I "told all", I didn't. Because my really dirty secret is that I'd never be truly satisfied with you either and I'd eventually want to leave. And that is the bitter truth that I couldn't confess to you. That I don't love anyone the way I should and although I've said "I love you", it is still far short of what love ought to be.
I see that I am contradicting myself. I guess that's what I feel inside. A contradiction. I really am crazy enough to give it all up to be with you. But again, that's not the life I want for you. If I were with you that way, all the pain and alienation caused by giving everything up would follow me and poison you through me.
And so I think evil thoughts of natural ways where I'd become free to be with you. But even then, you deserve more. More than a worn out middle-aged dreamer. When we met the first time, you saw me in my prime. Now I am weak, weaker and more fragile than I told you. You should be with someone who shares your vigor for life and can give more than they take. If you were truly with me, surely you'd be the giver and I'd be the taker. And you deserve so much more than that.
Oh how you made me dream! You believed in me and loved the things I loved! Talking with you was like opening the door to the closet where I had stashed all my "some days" and "wouldn't it be greats" and "maybe laters".
And you always wanted to talk with me and never told me you were tired of hearing what I had to say. And you'd always wear your hair long and flip it just the way I like. And you'd enter my world and I'd enter yours. And we'd make beautiful music together. And we'd go for long drives to nowhere in particular. And we'd never feel lonely again. Ever.
Simply put, my dear, you were the best I never had.