I loved you.
I admit it now easily, casually, as if this fact should surprise no one. But it surprised me. Was I the only one who didn't know? When my mother, friends and co-workers prodded me and tried to understand what was going on between us, I denied then that I loved you. "He's amazing, but we're just friends" I said. Then to prove that things were platonic between us, I would date. Not much and not seriously but enough to keep the questions at bay. And yet, I was destroyed when you moved away. In the months leading up to your departure I had come to a point where I'd finally given up on the pretense of seeing other people. We weren't with each other, but we certainly weren't with anyone else either. How could I be with someone else when I was always with you? It was confusing and addictive. You were, after all, my best friend.
Then you left. You moved on easily it seemed, without much of a backward glance. Every now and then you would check back to see if the wounds were still fresh, if my heart was still breaking. They were. It was. We didn't talk for months. I was incapable of hearing your voice without feeling a knot in the back of my throat. The tears always came and so I avoided your calls and your emails until I could respond as a friend, as a person who wasn't bent over in grief.
It has been almost two years and we're finally back to being friends, calling on the holidays and periodically checking in on each other's lives. You're happy and finally, I am too. That doesn't mean that I don't miss you, or us. I miss holding you hand on the car ride home. I miss cuddling. I miss relying on you, knowing that I could find your shoulder if I needed to cry. I miss weekend trips to forget the week behind us. I miss silence that was comfortable. I miss the dinners we cooked, the parties we hosted. I miss swearing like a sailor and then in the next breath talking about our issues with the church and with God. I miss being loved by you. I am more than a little terrified that I will never find that kind of love again. For weeks and months the smallest things reminders of you would trigger a blast of tears. I spent months not wanting to move from the couch.
You know so little of this. I didn't tell you then because I was furious with you for leaving. I won't tell you now because the past is too far gone.
Part of moving on, was moving away from the place where all those memories lived. So I packed everything and drove until we were a continent apart. It has been fantastic and challenging and exhausting. On T.V. and in the movies, New York is a city defined by both its grit and its glamor. What no one tells you is that if you're not careful you will lose yourself among the masses. You have to fight to make New York your own, to meet people that are interested in you as a person and not as a means to climb the corporate ladder, to connect at a level beyond some superficial ability to woo one's way into a nightclub. I am happy here, satisfied with where I've landed and the person I've become in the process but still, my world was still brighter and better with you in it. Had you ever bothered to ask, I would have chosen you. I would have chosen us. Finally, you should know that when you call on Christmas, I will smile into the phone and we will tell each other stories from the last few months reveling in the fact that another year has crept by. I will love every minute of our conversation. Still, a small part of me will ache as I hang up the phone. This my dear, dear friend, is just not how I thought things would end for us.