I saw you for your soul, not your body. I saw you for the way you drank your coffee. I saw you for the books you read, for the quotes you highlighted. The words you thought someone else would need but you yourself needed the most. I saw you for your views, for your beliefs, for your open mind. The acceptance you held for all, the compassion you so easily could give to a stranger as you could a dear friend. In a world that is suddenly powered by ignorance, I immediately picked up on your heart that believed in love even though it was buried in a rough exterior of masculinity over six feet tall.

I’ll admit I was shocked when I picked up a glimmer of deeper insight, how you believed the world was a creation of the work you put in it. I’ll admit it, I judged the big muscles as a trade off for a smaller intellect, but there you were talking Malcolm Gladwell with me, and then the big muscles were suddenly just a bonus. I saw you for your ideas, for your plans in the future, I admired how planned out you were. I saw you for your fears and your demons and I wanted so badly to help you fight them. I wanted to brush them off your chest and make it seem easy, easy like it was for me to lay tracing the morning sun on it with my fingers. I saw you for your pain and your regrets, and I think it was all your dark parts that inspired me to fall deeper. The dark parts coaxed me to explore more of you, but then I saw all your locked doors.

I saw you for your soul, not your body. I saw you for the way your hand gripped the steering wheel, and the stations on the radio you chose, "Marvin’s Room" was a good choice. I saw you for the way you would stand by your boys and always took the high road. I looked deep into eyes just like mine, where you couldn’t pin a certain color, where a gray shirt made them hazel but the sun made them gold. I saw your smile that I mistake on stranger’s faces now, and I saw laughter in jokes that really weren’t funny at all.

I saw you as a rare soul, but people aren’t used to being viewed as that anymore. Countless times I heard about how good looking you were, but I couldn’t see what they saw. They saw great hair, and I saw my hands running through it during talks about traveling. They saw an extremely tall man, and I saw a man who confided his biggest regrets in me. I could list off a million things I saw, but those things fade away when it’s your smile that draws in the hundreds of followers on Instagram. I could give countless hours of listening to your fears, but that doesn’t pay like the attention a DM gets anymore. We are so used to our exterior drawing people in, we forget that it is what’s inside that makes people stay. But how can we recognize those people that stay when we’re distracted by the hundreds of others tugging at our bodies? I saw you as your soul, not as your body, and I hope you recognize the next one who does that for you.