* I wrote this a year ago today, about a month into my relationship with Lyssa. It's still true. *
You thought you were done. Imagine being trapped in a relationship that you've watched die slowly around you over the years. You are trapped by a sense of obligation, and the guilt that would come with leaving. The love you once knew is gone, replaced by a dull ache that only serves to remind you of what you are missing. You have resigned yourself to this, thinking it is the natural evolution of the relationship, and the best you will ever know of love. You wake up each day knowing this. Each day for over a year.
Several things have gone very wrong in your life. You are a person who values stability over all else, and you haven't known it for months. You've had to watch the man who was your hero since the day you were born, the man who in your eyes could do anything, slowly surrender himself to the clutches of time. You've given your absolute all to alleviate his suffering even in the slightest, and it pains you to see this powerful independent person in such a helpless and weakened state. In the end, even your best efforts aren’t good enough, and you watch him slip away. Your hero is dead.
You fall into a darkness that begins to define your life. It washes over you and numbs you through and through. You begin to act in ways you never would before, taking risks you know you shouldn’t. You don’t care about anything. Nothing cares about you. This nihilism gets you nowhere and you incur debt and shame more than you can handle. You realize something is wrong and begin to take steps in the right direction. It’s amazing what employment and talking to someone will do to rebuild you. You realize your relationship has run it’s course and you let go…
It’s exciting! You’re starting more than a new chapter in your life, it’s an entirely new volume. You’re living on your own, fully responsible for yourself. But most of all, you are truly ready. You know exactly who you are for the first time in your life. It feels wonderful.
Like an itch that you can’t scratch, a feeling is inside you, just beneath the surface. It is the feeling that you are lacking something, something you have been without for a long time. This feeling becomes stronger and more persistent every time you see a certain person you’ve just met. In a sea of new faces, this one special person stands apart. The more time you spend with this person, the more you understand the feeling. It claws at you from the inside until the one vulnerable moment when you finally have enough courage to reveal it. Your fears are forgotten when you hear the response that you hope for, rather than the one you expect.
Things aren’t instantly wonderful for you though. The memory of love turned sour is far too fresh to be ignored. And your longing for the good parts you once knew needs to be kept in check, lest they interfere with the natural growth of a budding relationship. You spend half of your time with this person nervous and worried that you will say or do something that’s either too early to be appropriate, or downright wrong. But this person has a way of taking these insecurities and easing them away.
Every time you’re with this person, you feel closer. It’s unbelievable what they can do to you. It’s as if they’re inside of your head, breathing new life into long dormant feelings, providing drive and inspiration that you thought had left you long ago. You can connect to this person on so many levels. This angel before you, who loves you as you are, and makes you believe you are who you want to be. There are no habits you need to change for them, no special exceptions to make. You can be you, and you will be embraced for it.
You are where you always wanted but never expected to be. And you can’t help but smile.
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