An excerpt from a book that I will never finish…

Paris

It feels like a lifetime ago when I first met you. I suppose it was. A few lifetimes ago, perhaps. I don’t remember all of the details…was it daytime or nighttime? What was the day of the week? I do remember the navy blue shirt you wore. And the smile. Mostly, I remember that you felt like home.

Although the timing was not right for us…I kept on loving you. I loved you when I didn’t love myself. I loved you when my days were dark and nights cold. I loved you in the happy moments, as well…and imagined an alternate universe where you and I shared those moments. And as much as I tried to keep you tucked away in a tiny little box, ribbon tied tightly, neatly placed upon a dusty half-broken shelf in my heart…you continued to escape and come crashing to the surface.

I’ve always called you “friend,” although you’ve always been so much more than that.

It’s funny how time has a way of making us into new people…while ensuring that we hold onto parts of our old selves. I have learned, through great transformation in the past few years, that some of the best parts of me are the ones that bear traces of you. The ones that connect us, somehow. I have learned that you are a part of me. And there is nothing that I can do to change that. And I don’t think I want to. I don’t know how to live not loving you. Even if we are never more than “friends.” For I would rather have that…than nothing at all. So I keep much of my feelings to myself, to hold onto the part of me that is you.

I feel you sometimes. You are in music…and places…poetry…and the spaces in between. And you are loved. You are loved for all of the right reasons…by someone who truly knows your soul. Is there anything better in the world than being deeply loved by someone who sees inside of you? I believe you once loved me that way. Perhaps a part of you still does. It’s beautiful really. And incredibly rare. And we are the lucky ones to have experienced that…even for a moment.

Maybe this thing between us was always too big. Maybe it was too perfect to be fully realized. Maybe two people with that type of connection are not supposed to end up together. Maybe this world cannot handle it. Maybe it is a love designed for a superior world than ours. And maybe we will find ourselves there in another lifetime, and all of the pieces will fall into place. Maybe then the timing will be perfect. Or time won’t exist at all, to interfere. And I will let you love me. And you will let me love you. And our story will be one that inspires timeless tales of love. It will be a story that everyone hopes to end up with…but doesn’t believe truly exists. It will be epic.

I write about you often. And I know you likely will never read my words. So I suppose I mostly do it for me. There is a healing in the words. Perhaps someday my heart will be open again…and I can love another. And I hope that you find someone that can love you for all the parts of you that you keep hidden from the world. And if she loves you just a fraction as much as I…then you will be the happiest you have ever been. And if our paths should cross, I will call you “old friend”….and cherish the moments that I get to be near the missing part of me that I gave to you. After all, what is a life worth living…if we are not giving pieces ourselves to those we love along the way? And collecting pieces from those who love us back? And who are we if we cannot find a way to smile through the tears…to persevere through the disappointment..and to continue loving-even when it’s hard. Some would hear our story and say that it’s sad…tragic, even. And perhaps when situated in this lifetime alone, that is true. But when situated in eternity…and the lifetimes to come…our story is not tragic. It is merely unfinished.

L.B. Conrad

Published by lamandabeesleyconrad

#Writer of Literary Fiction. Writing Prof @ The University of Oklahoma. Mom & wife. Art, music, theatre enthusiast. HUMANIST.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: