I am writing this in hopes that I will be able to recall you with fond memory in the times when I cannot and in the times where I will to forget:
I remember you as someone I really looked up to, older, mature, very thoughtful. I remember saying hi to you in the hallways of high school. And I remember talking to you about co-op. I also remember you bringing me a drink on my 19th birthday. I remember you inviting me to things, even though I said no. Those were so sweet and thoughtful – few friends of mine even did things like that for me.
Our first date though. I still smile when I think of it. It wasn’t really a date. I though I was going to go out for coffee with a friend, I owe that to myself to go out in someone else’s company at that time. We talked for hours. We walked. And talked some more. I remember a strange old man telling us that we looked good together, and that we will be together for a long time. I laughed nervously. You laughed nervously. I could tell that you’re nervous. I never had someone to talk to like that in such a long time. I really liked you and your company. I didn’t mean to flirt with you. But you flirted with me. I imagined a life with you instead of my ex. It was a nice life and I was happy. You drooled all over your dinner at pita factory. I thought it was adorable and you were so vulnerable. It was the first time that I stopped seeing you as someone “older.” I was attracted to you. Even before we first kissed, I thought about what it would be like kissing you. We walked to your home when it was dark. I didn’t mind. You walked me to the bus stop – the first of many. The bus stop where we would kiss for the first time later on. I don’t know what I felt back then. But it was a damn good first “hangout” in my books.
When you worked in Oakville, I visited you a lot. I liked you. You made me feel like I was cared for and loved. Yes, it was selfish. But I did love you as a person. And you made me happy, even though I was not at that time. Seeing you made me happy. You managed to make me bus to you every other weekend, even though I have never done that for anyone before. And you made me cringe, smile, cry and even impressed, most of the time. I remember whispering to you that I was falling in love with you. I didn’t think I was lying, it was hard not to. I might have failed to acknowledge your apparent love and care for me, but I promise you that deep down, at that time, that I did appreciate you. The thing I most vividly remember is you picking me up from the bus stop. I would pretend that I was all cool outside, but inside I was trying so hard to impress you. I wanted to impress you more. It was lame because I could have never done that. I never had a first real drink at a restaurant before, I have never had real steak, and I think I realized during all those time, that I never really gotten to know someone like you before. Between the late night buses back to Waterloo and the visits at my house, you are right, who would have done that for me if not you? If not someone who was truly in love with me?
I remember vaguely telling you that we will be better off separated for the co-op term. I only said that because I wanted to get over my ex. I know that I wanted you, that you were my real goal in my head. Or someone like you at least. I hated myself so much that I couldn’t love you the same. I wanted to so badly. I really think that I did love you at that time, but I just couldn’t know it in my head. It was my favorite term of all terms so far. We worked in the same city. I remember our first lunch date! You met me at a nearby sushi restaurant. I hated to admit it, but I found you so attractive in work clothes. Everything after that is sort of vague to me. We hung out so much, and I could tell that you loved me. I once cried to bed that term because I was afraid that I won’t love you the same and that I would miss out on a chance to be happy with someone like you (of course I was being hormonal). I got to know your parents. I really liked your dad. And your mom is one of the most sweetest person I know. They raised you well. I was sorta happy that they didn’t make a big deal out of me being your girlfriend. And they didn’t mind me coming over a lot. I am happy because that felt very nice and it didn’t put a lot of pressure on me. One favorite memory of mine is when we went to get sushi legend, and then we went home after. We can never agree on something to do together, but that term, we definitely agreed on the Walking Dead. I remember you getting take out for us even though we argued. I know that deep down I was so happy. And I was still half-mad but how could I be mad at you? I remember you went out with a girl so it would make me jealous (admit it). And honestly though, it didn’t. I was so confident in your love that I knew that she wouldn’t compare and that you had no room left in your heart. So many firsts! And so many realizations. You always made me feel on top of the world like I was capable of doing everything. This term was my “Ottawa” term. It is still something I think about and miss a lot.
I remember putting a lot of strain on you. I remember screaming in your room in the middle of the night, half tipsy, and crying. I remember trying to leave but you asking me to stay. I remember so many bad things from this term, that I am scared to think about it, even now. I am going to have to admit to myself that I was emotionally confused and you were slowly tired of how I am not responding to you anymore? I was scared and tired and confused. I don’t remember a lot from this term and I don’t think I want to.
The term where you got a car (I don’t know how else to name it), was the term things got better. I fell in love with you. And I have spent your love, and you were tired. We still argued a lot. I was scared. Being in love means that you are vulnerable, and I felt like I really was. Especially then. You felt it too. You knew I loved you. Unconsciously or not, you knew that I was going to be there. And I was. I started loving you more and more each day. Some days you were mean to me and hurt me. But I choose to remember the days where you didn’t. We had great dates. You made me very happy. We tried really hard to let the things that hurt us go. This was the term that I seriously considered you in my future. I saw us being happy in our own apartment. I saw us happy. You picked me up from school and drove me home. You made your curry chicken wings and my favorite vegetables. You received news that you got the job that you wanted. I knew you would. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that you would have gotten it. Even if you didn’t get the first job you applied for, I have always believed that you would have gotten something similar some where else. I cried though. Not because I didn’t want you to leave. But because you were. I was going to miss you and I didn’t like the thought of you not being around. The thought of that scared me. I knew that distance was going to put a strain on us whether we tried or not. Especially the distance where we cannot readily see each other on weekends. I was still happy. You were going on a new journey without me. I hate to see you leave but I know it will be for the best. And I knew that you will someday grow out of me. We cried to sleep on our last night. It was going to be the last time I ever laid in a bed with you for a while. The last week in Toronto with you was the best. I never felt like you were leaving. It just felt like old times again. And when you did, it never hit me. I am not even sure if it hit me yet.
I remember the trips we have been to. We took many trips. My favorite was our last trip to Niagara. I went into it expecting the most out of it, and I think that is what we got. I felt so lucky to have you at that time. You were always so good on dates. And going on a trip with you is just a whole weekend of one good date. You took pictures of me. I felt happy. I tried not to feel sad when the weekend ended. I assured myself that it isn’t really the end of the trip. I was tired and happy. It is a really good combination of emotions, really.
Perhaps we won’t get back together anymore. The irrational me wants to argue with you all day, because at least you will be talking to me – yes, you might despise me, but at least I have your attention. The rational me thinks that its best if you moved on if you wanted to (I remember writing it in a letter). I know I have done more harm than anything to us and you have almost ran out of love to give me. Which is why I am writing this, I suppose. It is time that I got ready to let the person and memories I love go willingly. Yes, I am losing you, but that is part of life. Perhaps you will fall in love with someone else or I will. Perhaps you have really ran out of emotions for me. Maybe things won’t work out, but I am glad we gave it a run. And I am glad that we fell in love with each other. And I do not want to forget what we have been through. You have changed my views and me. Yes, I am sentimental and emotional. I want to believe that in between my flaws that I am still beautiful.
I want to look back at our memories no matter what happens to the both of us, and be thankful of you, for loving me so courageously and almost unconditionally in your own way. I hope you will too.
“Love is not who you were expecting, love is not who you can predict.
Maybe love is not ready for you.
Maybe you are not ready for love.
Maybe love just isn’t the marrying type.
Maybe the next time you see love is twenty years after the divorce, love is older now, but just as beautiful as you remembered.
Maybe love is only there for a month.
Maybe love is there for every firework, every birthday party, every hospital visit.
Maybe love stays- maybe love can’t.
Maybe love shouldn’t.
Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to,
And love leaves exactly when love must.
When love arrives, say, “Welcome. Make yourself comfortable.”
If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her.
Turn off the music, listen to the quiet, whisper,
“Thank you for stopping by.”