Photo via: Esben BΓΈg

It’s time I get this out so I can let go and move on. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve stared at a blank page trying to write this down. How do you put something so beautiful, so complex, into words? What do you do when you’ve lived a fairy tale but didn’t get your happy ending? How will anything compare?

We met in the most unexpected of places. A Caribbean island on Christmas vacation. I saw you around and thought you were gorgeous, but we didn’t actually meet until the second last day. You looked and acted like a typical American frat boy, the kind of person I’ve always had a natural disdain for. I thought we’d have some fun. Everyone else drifted off to bed and you promised me we’d jump in the pool by the end of the night. Instead, you pushed me in, and then the first in a series of unexpected things: you kissed me. In a pool, in the middle of paradise. It felt like a movie.

For the next 36 hours we were inseparable and discovered that we were both in the process of trying to end destructive relationships that had hurt us deeply. And you surprised me again. I’d assumed you’d be shallow, empty, without substance. Just a college kid who liked to party. That night I discovered you were sweet, genuine, emotional. Your soul had real depth. That’s when I fell in love with you. I fell in love with you because you surprised me in a world where so few people do. I fell in love with you because you were unexpected; because you had a genuine heart amidst a sea of 20somethings who don’t care about anything or anyone anymore. We talked all night in a cabana after everyone had gone to bed. We walked along the entire beachfront and found a starfish. We paddled out alone to the middle of the ocean and you asked me if you’d ever see me again. It feels like another lifetime even though it was less than a year ago. On the last morning before we caught our flights we Google mapped the distance between our respective cities: 426 miles and one international border. A seven hour drive.

We exchanged numbers but I never thought we’d stay in touch. The plane ride was one of the saddest, most wistful moments of my life. Back to reality, which could never possibly shine as bright as those two nights with you. But when I got back to the airport and turned on my phone, I already had a text from you: “miss you already”. My heart stopped.

And so it began. Eleven months of my fairy tale, which has now turned into a nightmare. Since that first night we haven’t gone more than a day without speaking. You started calling me every day, and we’d Skype every night, sometimes for 12 hours at a time. Less than a month passed before I caved and got on a 12 hour bus ride to come down and see you. I didn’t even know you, but it felt like we’d been together our entire lives. I couldn’t even remember a life without you in it. What happened over the next ten months isn’t important: we’ve been through more together in this short time than other couples go through in years and years. That first visit you told me you wanted to be together despite the distance, and although I’d never understood long distance relationships, it didn’t compute in my mind as a choice. Of course we’d be together. You started driving up to see me every other weekend and I’d come down whenever I could. You’re every single one of my top ten memories, but now I wish I could erase them all.

I don’t know if you and I were meant to meet, or if it was just some bizarre coincidence that brought us together on that island. I don’t know if I’ll love you forever, but I do know that I could have. My love for you surpasses every other feeling I’ve had in my entire life put together… every bit of sadness, happiness, anger in 23 years doesn’t add up to the feelings I have for this one tiny person out of six billion others.

I don’t know if you ever loved me as much as I love you, I don’t know if you love me still. All I know is that people aren’t static: they’re transmutable, fluid across different situations. The person I met on that island doesn’t exist anymore. Genuine, sweet, beautiful. What’s left is that frat boy who cares about nothing and has no real substance. Something I never thought you’d be – everything I hate in a person. The person I fell in love with is as good as dead. I’ve spent 81 days crying in my bed waiting for him to come back, it’s been almost three months since I’ve seen you. I never would have believed that this could happen to us, but I guess that’s what you’ve always been. Unexpected.

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