I Loved You Once



I loved you once.

Before I was old enough to drive and I was sneaking off to see you…  lying to my mom about where I was going, you were everything I ever wanted for the rest of my life.

When I couldn’t get enough of your face or your hands or your voice, my best friend had to listen to me ramble on incessantly about you until she was sick of your name.

The day you laid on top of me with your hand behind my head,when we had to have sex on the floor, because the bed was taken by our best friends, is one of my sweetest childhood memories.

I still, twenty five years later, remember how your tongue tasted on mine that very same day and I remember being so scared to walk home after that mouth, that tasted like every candy I ever loved, left a hickey on my chin.

It only took me from Liberty Street to Raspberry Street to fabricate that it was a bruise a from a fight that I got into on my way home from school.

“Some girl on the railroad tracks tried to jump me. She looks way worse.”

Not a scratch or a tear in my clothes. I know my mom didn’t believe it, but she acted like she did.

Thanks, mom.

And a few short weeks later, when tragedy forced me to move away, I would talk to my best friend and my first question would always be, “have you seen him?”

She always said no until one day she said, “yes.”

But she didn’t talk to you. So I was still left with a vacant hole where I was sure you’d be someday.

Time went by. We grew up. We had lives. We were strangers just like before I loved you. The world started moving faster. Technology evolved. One day I found you on Facebook.

I loved you again.

I looked through your pictures and saw your smile hadn’t changed. You still had the same lips that left passion marks on me and turned me into a liar.

And you also had her.

And you looked happy.

And I wondered if she likes to eat cheese and raw chocolate chip cookie dough straight out of the package like I do. I wondered if you two sit on the couch rubbing each other’s feet laughing at Kevin Smith movies the way I imagine we would have.

I wondered if she kisses your collarbone at night and lays her hand on your chest as she sleeps just to feel your heartbeat. I wondered if she caresses your head when you mention that you have a headache. I wondered if she gave you a thousand kisses on your face before you went to sleep each night. I wondered if you ever thought of me.

I wondered if we could pick up where we left off or if we’ve changed too much?

I wondered if she’s your happily ever after.

And then one day, you showed up in my inbox complete with all the nostalgia and butterflies one person’s soul could hold and I was fifteen again.

Every day we catch up on old times and current times, I’m standing at the edge of the diving board curling my toes so I don’t accidentally fall.

So I don’t accidentally end up in the deep end of loving you.

And every time you talk to me in the gentle way you have, your hand is behind my head again and I make up stories on my way to sleep of how our life could be if you were with me instead.

Would we enjoy walking by the river? Or walking on the beach together? Would you like my favorite restaurant or the way I cooked your eggs? Would you play with my hair as I fell asleep at night? Would you put your hand on my knee for a ten hour road trip because the passenger seat is too far away from you? Would you sit by the fire with me getting drunk on vodka and love notes that we’d written each other? Or do I just have a vivid imagination?

I want to wish you well. I also want to be selfish. I want to wish a break up on you. I want to be your happy place. I want to finish what we started, even if it doesn’t end in happily ever after, but I don’t want to ruin your happily ever after to get mine.

So I sit behind my keyboard, writing and re-writing messages to you that I’ll never actually send. Saying words to you that I’ll never actually say. Imagining a life with you that I’ll never actually have.

And I dream I’m on a cliff holding your hand as I fall

in the deep end of losing you again.

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