I fear that we will be reduced to “The Ones Who Got Away”. A “Glimpse of Us” in another’s eyes… A memory – a story with a bittersweet ending. I’m afraid it’s something unavoidable. I wish I could hold onto you – cling to you like the stars cling to the night sky; but even the sun will burn out some day, my love. Even the stars we see are only the echoes of their existence a billion light years away… One day, I will be reduced to a memory to you; and you a fond familiarity to love to me.
Dancing in the evening with a firepit behind us will forever be a fantasy. Visions of standing beside you while watching Provence’s sunset will be blurred in my mind. Your sweet kisses in a pastel pink café in London will be phantom touches… Perhaps you were right… All those ‘maybe’s and ‘what if’s and ‘could have been’s haunt me. They fill my heart with regret like lead and cause me to drag my feet, but they are a testament to what I could have been and done for you. They are the proof of my love for you, as foolish as it may seem. One day they will weigh less heavily on my shoulders, but my love, they will always be present.
I mourn the loss of your love already. Knowing in the back of my mind that I will likely amount to nothing but a fading warmth in your hands tears me apart. I wanted to keep you warm for as long as I could, my dearest. I care less about you loving me in return and more about you being loved by someone as you should…
“I get jealous
even when people
with their hearts
and forget to
be kind.” – (Peppernell, “Pillow Thoughts”)
Yet despite my selfless words, I cannot deny that I’ve wanted you selfishly. I’ve thought of being greedy. I’ve thought of being reckless. Sometimes I barely hang on by a thread when jealousy or despair consume me. We have no real future, my dearest moonlight. You are a privilege, not a right… one that I believe I will lose eventually, but not without appreciation for later in life.
I wish things weren’t this way. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve thought about dropping the future I have here just for a present with you. The idea that someone will finally value me for what and who I truly am rather than what I can do or will do later on is something priceless and foreign to me. It’s alluring – the idea that I could ever be more to someone than a means to an end… I’m not a means to an end to you… am I? I suppose, even if I was, I’d be none the wiser.
Would it be foolish? To think that I could do something that would allow us to have a future together? Move away perhaps? Get my life together and join you? Promise you ‘eventually’? Promise you ‘forever’? To be truthful, I am far too jealous of your lovers having such large proportions of your romantic love, not even including him, who I have not forgotten that you two are truly soulmates. There are so many factors that stop me from doing something reckless…
So, forgive me, my first love. I apologize for only ever pining and mourning the loss of your love, hardly ever basking in it as I should have been. I apologize for the way I’ve begun to slowly pull my hand away from yours in attempts to brace myself for the fall. My first romantic heartbreak; how comical considering that you were never mine in the first place.
I apologize; I will be nothing more to you than a name on the long list of people who have left you behind.
J.R. Barner is a writer, teacher, and musician living in Athens, Georgia. Reach out to jrbarner.tumblr.com or on Twitter @jrbarner2.