To the England-born, blond-haired, blue-eyed boy that I foolishly let go,
I am - to this day - irrevocably in love with you. And, no one (I repeat, no one) can ever deter my heart from thinking otherwise - not even Ben and Jerry’s pint-sized ice cream or Ryan Gosling’s casting as Noah Calhoun. On days that end in “y,” I still think of all that could’ve been - marathoning classic films in the home theater, making vegetarian plates of pasta on Friday nights, reading paperback books at the public library, mimicking awful British accents, and blasting Johnny Cash’s hit records.
But, now, I’ve accepted that things have forever changed. You’re no longer on my contact list. Your dad hardly directs conversations towards my way. Your photographs are stashed in the broken drawer of my nightstand. Your fair-won plush stuffed animals are my dog’s new chew toys. Your French-written postcards are stuffed in pages of long-forgotten books. Yet, I still believe that this relationship - this love - should never have ended like it did. We still had so much to endure, to live, to experience. We fell in love, and we never fell out of it.
So, as an ode to our relationship, here’s a much-needed list of phrases I should’ve told you before (and after) we drifted apart. And, remember, the love’s all there - forever and always.
1. I put my ambitions first because you always pushed me to.
Remember when I was extremely scared to tell you I wanted to move away to New York City to write for college? For months, I cowered in fear thinking that we would downgrade to a long-distance relationship. Or, even worse, possibly break-up. And, when I blubbered out the words, you held my hand, kissed my forehead, and told me that you couldn't see me anywhere else. Never, not once, did you swat away my ambitions, no matter how big. You always recommended books to read and authors to look up. And, you stayed up all night to peruse over my work, always with a cup of tea by your side.
2. I’ve kept all the items you’ve ever given me.
To this day, I have never thrown out, or given away, any item you gifted me. The NARS lipstick you bought me is at the bottom of my makeup bag, The Outsiders movie you ordered for my collection has found a home between La La Land and Marie Antoinette, and the two concert ticket stubs from Jake Bugg's Los Angeles gig are pinned to my corkboard. It's like you never left at all. And, I don't have the heart to ever move them from their now permanent space.
3. I adore the things that once set us apart, but brought us together.
You loved coffee with two sugar packets, I liked mine straight-up black. You thought Ernest Hemingway was America's most prolific writer, I believed Jane Austen took the gold instead. Yes, we disagreed on virtually everything, but who wants their partner to be an exact replica of them? Our differences paved the way for heated conversations and ultimate conversions. At the end of the day, you ended up with black coffee and Austen's work, while I added sugar and read Hemingway.
4. We were, and still are, the same at heart.
At the beginning, we started off as polar opposites - two magnets unable to be together but mustering every bit of strength they had left in them to try to come as close as possible. And, try we did. Yes, you were the wild posh-English-turned-laid-back-American boy who lived for dares, while I was the church-going, rule-abiding girl who never cut corners. But, despite our differences, we fit each other perfectly. We had good intentions and much love for each other. So, when our relationship started to dwindle down, I thought to myself: "This is the end; we're not in love with each other anymore." However, it was the total opposite: the love was still intact. Maybe it was just bad timing after all. One thing I knew for sure, however, was that we had two hearts beating together as one.
5. I love you more than you will ever know.
There are no words and no actions that can ever let you know how strongly I love you. No "I love you" is enough and no kiss is sufficient. I love you more than paperback books, than black coffee, than doughnut holes. I love you more than our Hollywood adventures, iHop dates, and study sessions. I love you more than Mr. Darcy did Lizzie. I love you more than my heart lets on. And, like I mentioned, words are not adequate when it comes to loving you. So, take what you will.
6. I let you go because I wanted you to be happy - even if it meant I’d be broken.
When we broke up, I wallowed the same way Rory Gilmore did when she broke up with Dean. I hoarded the ice cream tub, made the infamous ex-boyfriend box, and cried the night away. I was that heartbroken. But, I knew, deep inside, that letting you go would make you happy in the long run - not worrying about someone else that might come in the way of your dreams. And, being the type of person who puts the happiness of others before mine, I was willing to let you go and love you from the sidelines. Because that's what real love looks like, right?