Maybe you meet in a coffee shop- no, of course you don’t, who ever meets in a coffee shop? Maybe you meet in a crowded pub when his beer splashes your arm and as you wipe it dry you rack your brain thinking of all the clever things you always wanted to say if you were ever to meet a boy like this. Or maybe you meet through friends or online or maybe you meet at work- and through a handful of casual conversations discussing weekend plans and the weather you decide you like this boy.
However it happens, you meet.
You have all those conversations that you suspect no one else ever has. A thousand inside jokes are born, a million stories are filed away, kept safe for you to bring up and reference later just to show this person that you remember everything they’ve told you. That you feel all their stories are valuable enough to keep forever- worthy of you shoving aside room in your already crowded head for the memories they hold dear. You remember the name of his favourite school teacher, you laugh as he tells you stories of himself as a child and while driving to work you find yourself humming the tune he said he’d play outside your window.
It’s easy, at first. The jokes, the stories, the late nights discussing everything your mind touches. No topic is left untouched, no opinion is not worth sharing. You sometimes feel empty- not as though you are less but as though you’ve shared everything you could and it feels wonderful.
Of course you are amazed that someone feels the same way. You are surprised by their thoughtful gestures, their words, the way they remember what kind of flowers you like. The stories they save to tell you, the way they know exactly what words will save you when you are upset, the letter they write to principals of the world demanding they hire you when you admit you are scared you will never get a job. You are surprised by it all- each action, each word more than anything you ever could have admitted wanting. And although there’s a multitude of factors involved that are less than perfect, you find yourself marveling at how perfect your world is.
Time goes by. Quirks become less endearing, words have double meaning, reality fills in the cracks, you go to bed angry. You go to bed sad. Not only because you are seeing that it’s not as easy as it once was- but because you discover there are times neither of you are willing to back down, neither of you are willing to stop something that’s started, to call a time out and wait until cooler heads prevail. You are sad to realize that there are times when you would both rather be right than happy. And you are heartbroken to discover that perhaps what you want isn’t the same thing at all.
And what worries you isn’t the fight at hand or the heartbreak that you currently feel, it’s the idea of someone who has become so important to you ever leaving. You know that such thoughts make you sound crazy, like the girl you vowed you’d never be but you play games where you lift him out of your life and see where the empty gaps are and suddenly you realize how much this person adds to your world- and how different it would be if they were gone. Of course you know you would survive without them but it’s the idea that you don’t want them to go, that with a clear realization of how dramatic it all sounds- that you are happier with them than without, which keeps you up at night.
So you are left with a choice, you are always left with a choice. You can choose to accept this person as they are- in any form you can have them, without conditions or restraints even if it means it’s less than what you hoped for or you can not have them at all and live in a world that’s a little more grey. And so you choose them. Of course, you choose them. There may not be a fairy tale ending, your heartbreak might engulf you for a time- but you will crawl out of all of it with a good friend beside you who will remind you of how perfect your world can be, even if only for a little while.
And that is how it works.