A Year of Liking You, in 600 Words

– ordinary –

Everyone experiences it a little differently. For me, it didn’t take much – a simple smirk in response to my joke, a flash of the hollow dot adorning your right cheek. You became a great friend, most importantly. A skilled listener who offered honesty and solace between my rambles. Kindness, humor, a set of values that mirrored mine: every point on my compatibility rubric had been checked off.

Whereas I bubbled with clumsy curiosity and misguided aloofness, you navigated each of your actions with purpose. You were a refined masterpiece of clean-cut edges, sandpapered down into a series of deliberate, calculated movements. It made me feel as though even our friendship was not an accident.

I don’t know why I’m speaking in the past-tense, as if you don’t embody those characteristics anymore. (You still do.) But the more I run through the points of giddiness I so desperately wish to project on my ceiling as I lie in bed, the more I notice how bland everything truly was.

That’s why it got so bad. I was – and always will be – captivated by the most ordinary thing in the room. You live quietly. Never boasting, never yelling, never straining to attract attention. Tired of constantly trying so hard to stand out, my introverted spirit latches onto anything that puts my obnoxious ego to rest. Sorry it happened to be you.

– words for you –

If the feelings were easy to dismiss, you would have done it long ago. It’s scary, but trust me. Let yourself fall, be blinded by the anomalies you’ve counted time and again – this must be something special, you tell yourself. Fate has brought us together, you repeat, even when he’s gazing into someone else’s eyes right before yours. Take note of that festering seed of hope that’s telling you maybe…just maybe he’ll come around to feel the same way.

Then, cry.

Even if he was never yours to begin with, your heartbreak is still valid. All the frustration, the disappointment, the wounds that you would cut open again just to experience the whole roller coaster of emotions one more time – let it out.

Here’s the harsh truth: you cannot place such high expectations upon anyone. Do not be selfish, for the love you seek will never be harbored in a single person. The love you crave has been whispered in the winds, embossed in your favorite artwork, flowing through the souls of your friends and family. Time and distance become nectar and ambrosia to your pain. The sting dissipates, the experience stays. Know that the pulsing hope for romantic love is still there; it just won’t grow for someone who isn’t meant for you. And when you look back at the bitter pile of words scrawled in every page of your journal, know that above all else, you have grown.

– free –

The world is constantly moving. While you’ve had your head stuck inside this bubble of not being wanted, of dwelling over circumstances that won’t budge to fit your expectations – the world has been moving. All around you, there is beauty and adventure and excitement. There was beauty in the crisp winter air this morning, there was adventure in the new route you took home, there was excitement in writing these last words for him. You realize that somewhere along your twinkling eyes and his gradual veil of disinterest, you were running out of energy…and new words to describe the hurt.

There is no anger, no blame, no regret.

Just peace and acceptance and freedom, the true happy ending to all this.

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Illustrated By: Caitlin Knight


[FEATURED AT ARTEM‘S SOFT LAUNCH GALLERY JAN 19, 2018 THANKS TO SHAWN ROSARIO & EMILY VU
FEATURED IN NEW FORUMS WINTER 2018 ISSUE MAR 7, 2018]
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ARTEM SOFT LAUNCH

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NEW FORUM WINTER ISSUE

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