Photo by Emily Long
Almost loving you was quite possibly the most painful experience of my life. It was most definitely more painful than getting my heart broken. Being so close to love but never actually attaining it was like drowning and being able to see the shore. I chose to stay in the water for so long – constantly swimming out to your ship that only moved further and further away. I could have turned back, but I thought it was worth it. I truly believed with my entire being that I was going to love you. I never wanted to quit.
I knew your past when I started almost loving you. I had seen the way you treated women and the way you treated yourself. Never believing you were good enough, you always needed validation and thought you could find it in the arms of countless girls. When you started almost loving me you said I inspired you. You told me things you claimed you never told another woman.
Almost loving you was like trying to keep my head above water during a storm. Each breath was actually a gasp. They were short and painful. Each storm usually began with a lie I would catch you in. It was like a stab to my body. When this happened you’d turn away from the redness of my face. It was easier for you to ignore our problems and play pretend. Eventually the storm would calm, and I was relieved that you were still around, and angry at myself for the same.
I wanted to completely love you. The times I loved you most were when you stopped and waited for me, instead of running away. During those times our almost love was like the love that lives in the pages of novels.
But almost loving you was lonely. The water I drowned in made me cold and damp inside. I was exhausted from kicking, from trying to stay afloat. I realized that almost loving you wasn’t good enough for me anymore. It also was unfair to you. I did not know whether or not you loved me, but it didn’t matter, I had to leave. You deserved someone to love you unconditionally. We both did. Looking back now as I sleep in one of the shirts you left behind, I know that instead of almost loving you, I could have loved you. You just didn’t let me.