Just Kids

19 MONTHS AGO

 

Once, I was seventeen. I was young and inexperienced, desperate and insecure. Still, I wanted the world and reached for the stars. I naïvely thought everything in life would always work out, and I would get what I wanted because they tell us we deserve the best.

 

Then you came along, and you were exceptional. You made me laugh. You picked me up when I was down. You became the lover I couldn’t resist. The lover I craved, sexually, emotionally, mentally.

 

But we were too young then. We were foolish. Every time we were together, my heart fell deeper in love, but my head kept telling me you were playing a game I couldn’t win.

 

That’s what I thought it was for you: a game. You teased me. You played with my emotions. You tried to get me to admit I loved you, but were careful not to say it yourself. I wanted to say it, but I couldn’t let you use my heart to feed your ego. I couldn’t risk giving my heart to someone with no guarantee of reciprocity.

 

So rather than say it, I let my actions speak, hoping you would read between the lines. I left my arms tight around your neck when you told me, “Don’t put your arms around me unless you love me.” I held on tightly saying firmly that I would do as I please, but denying I loved you. “I got love for you, homie. Don’t flatter yourself.” It was just a game, and I was losing because my body quivered with excitement at the idea of loving you.

 

Still, I had no indication from you about your feelings, and I was too afraid to ask. I was terrified you would say you had no real love for me, and I would have put my heart out there for no reason but to be crushed. So I ran. Like a damned coward. I called it off, had one last unforgettable night with you, left home, and didn’t look back.

 

I never got you out of mind though. EVER. Countless times I thought about you, wanted you, and realized just how huge a mistake I had made leaving you. But my regret seemed pointless: you never bothered to come after me. You didn’t even try to stop me from leaving. I assumed I had been right all along: It was all just a game to you. My heart was shattered.

 

I was determined to fill that void you had once occupied; frantic to piece my heart back together. I said yes to the first person to make me happy after you. It was reckless and hasty, but I didn’t want to be alone, and I wanted to be over you.

 

Most relationships are great in the beginning. Feelings of newness and butterflies are sometimes all it takes to make you believe you made the right decision and are headed in the right direction. And though things were tough for a moment, along came my beautiful baby girl and I wondered how I could think it wasn’t meant to be. This child was (and is) everything to me. As time went on, things got rocky (again), but baby girl number two came, and it seemed that was all that mattered once more.

 

But…there was always something missing, something not quite right. I was never fully myself. Never fully honest with anyone about who I am, what I wanted, or how I felt inside. I never felt safe enough with him to be completely me, silly and raw and naked. You accepted everything about me, and though I felt insecurity about your feelings for me, they were my own insecurities, instilled by years of daddy issues, abuse, and heartbreak. And when I feared telling you I loved you, it was only projection on my part. You never did anything to me to warrant my distrust. Truth be told, I never felt safer than when I was with you.

 

I never got over you, not completely. I know you know that. I would ask about you in round about ways, never revealing the secret, but seeking, as a friend, to know what you were up to. When I found out you lived not too far from me, I hoped I would run into you somewhere. I would look for you in cars as I drove down the highway, wishing one would be you. Seeing you again after all those years, was all it took for me to remember why I had never truly let you go.

 

So here we are, and this is me: genuine as I know how to be, heart on my sleeve. It may not be the smartest thing to do, but I know you would never intentionally break my heart, take advantage of me, or take my love for granted. And though none of this makes a lick of sense, it is what it is til it ain’t, right?

 

Well for me, it’s LOVE. I am completely in love with you in just one month (plus those 20 years I lived without the piece of me you held). I love you intensely, passionately, infinitely, always and forever. I don’t intend to make the mistakes of my youth again. I’m all yours, and you are mine. That will never change. And I will love you for life.

 

I can’t find the reasons

That my love won’t disappear

Can’t find the reasons

Why I love you, my baby, my dear

Can’t find the reasons

Wanna love you all night

Can’t find the reasons

Gotta squeeze ya, real tight

Can’t find the reasons

Baby yeah, for my tears

Can’t find the reasons.

~EWF

Image quote by, Arrigo Boito

 

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