The hardest part was not saying “goodbye.” The hardest part is learning how to start unloving you after saying goodbye. It’s learning how to live my life without you in it. Having the love for you keeps you present, so I need to learn how to unlove you.
When I first told you I loved you, it was the first time I had told professed that to anyone. We were sitting in traffic, arguing playfully about something minuscule and unimportant. And I just kind of blurted it out.
“I love you.”
Love. I love you. I said it. I love you! I felt it surging through my body. And then I heard you say it back. I think I really breathed for the first time in my life. I almost cried.
You see, the truth is that I had loved you for a long time before that. I held it in for so long, keeping it only for myself until one day, I just… couldn’t do it anymore. And that was the day, that was the moment. I needed to tell someone. And that someone was you.
It felt so easy to love you. It was so easy to love thanks to the way you’d smirk at me when you were thinking of something funny. Or the way you’d mumble a low “mmhmm” when I’d look at you for too long. It was effortless to fall for you.
I was in love with the way your hair stood up in every direction when you were frustrated, or when you were fresh off of your motorbike. In love with the way my favorite pair of your jeans hugged your body so perfectly that it seemed as if they were made for you.
I loved the stories, the made-up songs, the funny jokes. I loved every part of it and you – even the parts I shouldn’t have loved. You were you, and I was me. We belonged together and I’d never been happier. I could’ve spent all day and night with you. I was never exhausted by your company.
You were it for me. As far as I was concerned, no other man in the world existed. I hated myself for waiting so long to let you into this part of my life, a part I never wanted to see you without.
Until one day, when you weren’t there anymore. Everything I knew ended.
The worst part is that I still love you. And I don’t know how to stop loving you. How do I unlove you? Why is unloving you the hardest thing I’ll ever learn to do? How could loving you be the easiest thing in the world while unloving you be so goddamn hard?
How do I wake up in the morning and lay down at night knowing that I shouldn’t be loving you? That you’re not going to text me. That you’re not going to make me pasta – since it’s the only thing you know how to make well. That you’re not a part of my life. That when I see you, it’s as an acquaintance and not as we should be.
How do I unlove the way you sit forward when you drive your truck as if you’re always excited to be going where you’re going? How do I unlove the way you love animals and have a soft spot for cat threads on Reddit?
How do I stop feeling strong emotions every time I look at you? How do I stop thinking about you? How do I make you stop being the first person I think of every day, every time something great or joyful or horrible happens? How do I stop loving you?At this point, I’m not sure if I ever can. And if I’m being honest, I’m not sure I want to. But the one thing that’s certain is that I need to. Even if it kills me.