h2>Dating : The Death of My Favorite Imagination
You were my best imagination. I loved when my thoughts wandered back to you, and I’d walk home to the safe place our story lived in my daydreams. A place with no address, an invisible home tucked away along a lake that happened to be perpetually clean, but perfectly homey. Sometimes in our made up life we were hosting a game night, other times we were taking too long on Saturday morning to get out of bed. Nothing out of the ordinary, the trappings of everyday relationships. Ordinary relationships are the most mysterious of things to me. As someone who has never had a date that I wanted, it’s bewildering to fathom what happens when the relationship is not just a musing.
Sometimes it seemed like you entertained the idea of that mysterious, ordinary trappings relationship with me. I often wondered how we always found our chairs next to each other. The easy laugh at my plentiful one liners. The thoughtful chin tilt when I asked your thoughts on my recent find of a really haunting set of lyrics. The hand stretch across the table when I cried about unwanted funerals. You picking my bag off the floor despite being seething mad at me. Me wrapping you in a big hug when life changed your plans. Rarely was it just the two of us, but constantly in a crowd we would escape into our secret conversations. Tethered to the line of friends it looked so simple to just step over to stand on the same side.
Despite the simplicity of a step, you clung so tightly to the line, so tightly I finally started to see there is no room for my hand in such a grip. Feet dug into the ground, making me feel unworthy of the risk of untethering yourself from a line. I’m your fun friend, your flirty friend, the one who you can spar with and not worry about remembering to buy something for Christmas. The one you know you’ll see on Saturday but can ignore during business hours Monday to Friday. It broke my heart, because I wanted the full-time gig, not the part time ego boost. I hoped you would change, realizing I was the one you didn’t want to get away. I’d hold my breath as months passed by, thinking if I counted to ten, you’d like me again. Instead I think you left the front door unlocked, allowing me to leave quietly, but also come in easily.
This last year was a frantic tug of war. One minute you would be pulling me in tightly to dance. The next you were holed up in your room. You’d glance over at me with the softest eyes, then barely look up when I’d walk in. When I couldn’t finish a story because my laughter took over you would reflexively start smiling back, other times steel in your eyes would cut my chuckle short. I’d sink deeply into every big hug, intently remembering the warmth I could pull out when you’d turn cold. Despite the endless rehearsals, our two step would progress with two steps forward, one big step back. I had no idea what message you were trying to send, no clue the answers you hoped I’d solve. The words, the actions, the glances, the subtractions, together couldn’t make sense. Was this an attempt to cross the line or keep me on my side?
No one is encouraging me to stay any more. They say you are unstable. This might be true. You’ve had a lot come up against you. There are no texts wishing to see me, wondering what my thoughts are. Your world is your own, and I stay outside, where it feels I’ve been asked to go. I’ve fought so hard for this to be it. We are no longer 23, with the world ahead. If I wait much longer, the unfair timeline on females will limit my partners to the stragglers. How badly I wanted it to be you. An aching sensation is constantly in my chest. Why for me, does no one have the time? What must I do to not be in the back of the line? It is a foolish wish, I can see that. My heart will change, it’s done this all too many times before. My daydreams with you and our apartment and our mornings will fade for something real. Today, on a sad Saturday, I still wish it was you. I wish those imaginations were true.
Wishes don’t make reality come true. As the year slows down to the finish, I have felt a resolve pick up pace in me. I realize this path we’ve been running might not be a rush to a happy ending. It might be a death march to our relationship. Perhaps because you really are lovely and your heart is breathtaking, I wanted selfishly to cling to you as just mine. The anger at you not taking a step has faded into clarity, that maybe you were loving me best by asking me to stay on my side of the line. Maybe you saw what I couldn’t, that the fantasy would end in tragedy. Perhaps you know better than I the answer to really loving each other might by staying simply friends. One day, one of us will bring another, and it will be the end of this kind of depth. She will be your sunlight and he will be my moon. Yet I know, we will always cherish the friendship within one another, even if it must change, even if it requires two steps back.
So, my darling, I’m taking my hand off the line for a minute, to shake your hand and hold it close one last time. I’ll let go and cry about the death of my favorite imagination. It’s devastating to attend the funeral of this daydream. This death is not the end of us, just the beginning of living as we were meant to be. I know I really did love you, because even in this somber moment, I hope you find love, I hope you find lazy Saturday mornings. I hope I can smile at your wedding and that you’ll dance at mine. A toast, to the death of an imagination, but the birth of a friendship that stands through time.