A Love Letter. -23

22 passed in the blink of an eye. It was a year of adventure and achievement, of high hopes and  disappointments, of blue breezes and silver storms. But really, it was a year that simply stopped being about me. 

With a global pandemic looming right outside my front door, most things that used to matter seemed to fade from view. For the first time since I moved out years ago, I went home to live with my parents and sisters for a few months. Anticipating lockdowns, there was nowhere I’d have rather been. Yet without the beloved staples of my life, I was left with so much time to sit alone and think. There were definitely moments when I’d rather not have thought at all, but as it were, I had plenty of time to consider what this past year has meant to me. 

Though it feels almost impossible to remember life before Corona, there are so many memories from this year that I don’t want to lose in the chaos. 

This year, I was all I needed, but I wasn’t all I had. 

I had my friends. I was more present than ever before, wholly devoted to being as supportive and loving as I could possibly be. I smiled as their hearts filled with joy and I held them when they broke. I listened to their secrets and their screams. I laced up their wedding dresses. I thanked all my lucky stars for the beautiful people in my life, and I thanked those beautiful people for cherishing me for who I am. We’ve been striding forwards in this insane world we live in, remembering who we used to be and thinking about who we are now. Who we want to be. 

This is my love letter to them. This is my love letter to Thanksgiving traditions and to overdue phone calls, to Ikea trips and to study sessions. My love letter to the paint parties, the dinner parties, the Taylor Swift listening parties, the power-outages in the middle of the parties and the pity parties. My love letter to the weddings, the wine festivals, the food festivals and the times we just spent all of our time together. This year would have been far less interesting without the pep talks before and the debriefs after. 

I had my family. I’ve spent weeks trying to find the right words with which to describe how much my family means to me, and I haven’t been able to. They’ve saved me, by always being there, always loving me, comforting me, guiding me. I guess words just can’t do them justice. Every word is my love letter to them. 

I had my home. There was a time when I thought I would have to move out of this apartment to get away from the ghosts that haunted it, but I changed my mind. I realized that all I needed to do was to fill it up with new light and new laughter. Make it mine again. On June 13th, on October 2nd, on December 26th. On countless occasions, I made this place my home. 

I had freedom.  The freedom to make mistakes, and regret them. The freedom to go where I wanted to when I wanted to (pre-Corona). The freedom to learn, to try and to take risks. 

I took a risk. At 22, I tried again. It took a lot of courage to be vulnerable again. He never ended up having my heart, but he held my hand. As a second man walked out of my door and out of my life, I realized how truly comfortable I am on my own. I’m not running from myself, or running towards someone else. I’m truly content to just focus on my life, and when something real appears – I’ll know it. I won’t let it pass me by. Though I’m still terrified of experiencing another earth-shattering break up like I did last year, I’m doing everything in my power to ensure that the fear does not interfere with my new beginnings.

With everything going on around the world, the last few months of my life have felt vastly insignificant. My thoughts have been focused on topics so much bigger than my life, for better or for worse. How can I feel sorry for myself for missing my last semester of university when people out there are dying? How can I mourn being away from my friends when I am so incredibly lucky to be isolated with my family? While so many are struggling to find stable ground in the unknown, how can I pity myself and overlook all of my good fortune? 

Though I spent such a long time picturing the triumphant last few months of my degree, it has taken me a surprisingly brief amount of time to accept that this story will end from afar. So long as I stay safe, and keep others safe, that’s all that matters. 

In February, after my last exam of the first semester, I decided to sit on the faculty steps in the middle of my campus. It was evening, and very few people were milling about. There was a full moon. Aware that I officially had only one semester left in my entire university experience, I had the sense that I should commit the feeling into my mind. The feeling of being a student, the feeling of belonging on that campus, of knowing my purpose and my goals so clearly. I had no idea that I wouldn’t be returning to that campus as a student, but now more than ever, I’m grateful for my natural inclination to be sentimental and focus on appreciating what I have while I have it. 

And so another huge chapter of my life is coming to a close. The end isn’t looking quite how I imagined it would. Despite that, and maybe partly because of it, I know that I’ll remember this chapter forever. What I’ll remember most, is how much stronger I am at the end than I was at the beginning. I’ll remember the nerve I needed to gather over these three years to make it through. I’m older, and I’m wiser. Everything I have learned in this degree will serve me for life, whether it be knowledge I gained from a book or from the unique experiences along the way (“I’m 9th!”). The opportunities I was afforded were truly once-in-a-lifetime. I’m grateful. For that, and for absolutely everything else.  

Another three years have gone by, another era has ended, and it’s time for a new adventure. As much as I hate goodbyes, I really love new beginnings. 

I guess this is my love letter to them. 

23 – I’m ready for you. 

~

Ella

“It was the end of a decade but the start of an age, I was screaming long live all the magic we made.” – Taylor Swift

So clearly now. -22

“I wonder what 21 will bring.”

21 was not what I was expecting. I feel like my year was hijacked by a breakup that I didn’t see coming. A year ago today, on my 21st birthday, I was happily in love and enjoying my (finally) stable and secure relationship. I had no idea that I was about to go through an incredibly difficult process, at the end of which I would lose the only man I had ever loved.

21 started with the end. It was like walking down a scary, steep, spiraling stairwell. With every step I took I lost a little bit more of myself, a little bit more of my sanity, but all I could do was keep walking. I dreadingly descended the steps towards the impending darkness.

Nothing really seemed to matter during the first half of 21, because I knew what was waiting for me at the end of that stairwell. I was petrified, and I refused to accept the inevitable. I went to sleep every night beside the man I knew I would one day, someday soon, have to say goodbye to. The thought of life without him was enough to send me into a panic so intense I would lose sensation in my limbs. I was so scared I literally couldn’t feel my own body.

The panic took over my life. It was all I could think about, all I could talk about, and by the end, I found myself crying hysterically every day. I cried in the shower, in my sleep, during lectures, at the gym, but still – I still couldn’t bring myself to do it. To make the hardest decision I had ever made in my life.

I was waiting for a moment of clarity. Maybe I was waiting the entire two years. I felt helpless, and I needed someone else to have the answer I was looking for. Every time I was with him, it felt like my heart was about to explode with love for him, just like always. Except that all of a sudden, that feeling tore me apart inside, because I could no longer deny that our love story was coming to a close. I saw the way it hurt him to see me like that, so lost and confused, and to be unable to say the only thing that would have consoled me – to promise me we would be together forever. I begged him for the answer I needed to find, and he didn’t have it.

Until one day in December, it happened. I found my clarity, presented to me in the form of the most inexplicable pain I have ever felt, pain I’m still trying to forget. When it happened, I relinquished myself to the truth embedded in it. I knew it was time.

Time to be brave.

~

I have survived one of the most emotionally complex years I’ve ever had, a year that threatened to break me. I think it did break me. With my heart shattered into a million pieces, I realized I was incapable of carrying all of the fragments by myself. Luckily, my loved ones were there, and each of them found a part of my hurting heart to keep safe for me. I had finals to get through, work to go to, and an ever-pained body to care for. I don’t know what I would have done without them. Gradually, I collected the pieces and put myself back together again.

The second half of 21 has been a journey, as much I detest that word. Even then, on that dreadfully sunny day, a tiny part of me spotted a silver lining. There is beauty in the unknown. And everything about the breakup was unknown to me. I had never experienced anything like it and I didn’t know what to expect. I breathed and embodied the mantra of “one day at a time”, because I literally had no clue what each new day would bring.

It felt like I had to learn everything from scratch. How to feel at home in an apartment filled with the ghosts of us. How to sleep alone every night. How to find comfort without him. Even how to cook the right amount of food for one person, as opposed to two. But most of all, I had to learn how to live in the present again. Leading up to the breakup, I was so focused on the future, and after it, I felt so immersed in the past. It’s been a relief to finally feel like I’m present in the moment. I can finally just be wherever I am.

This year forced me to come into my own. It forced me to reflect, to be my best self and to enter a new phase of life. A phase of searching. I’m trying new things, going out of my comfort zone, and finding myself in so many situations that are so different from what I’m used to. I’ve suffered from the nerves that come hand-in-hand with searching, but I’ve loved the thrill of it all. Even the awkward moments that I hated, I still loved because they were new. They were something I wouldn’t have experienced if things hadn’t gone the way they had, and they’re evidence that I’m finding my way.

I’ve been walking up that spiraling stairwell and discovering it looks different than it did on the way down.

It’s been a battle. All of it. Every aspect of this year required me to find endless strength and determination just to make it through, just to make whatever I needed to happen happen. To give myself my best shot. But I’ve done it, and I’ve done it on my own. I’ve done it gracefully.

I invested my heart and soul into my university studies this semester, making the absolute most out of every lesson, every day. Not letting a moment pass me by, because I know it’s fleeting. I took 9 courses (and a DJ class), and I had a Lunch Club on Tuesdays. I had classes that made the neurons in my brain light up with fire and made me feel electric. Classes that inspired me, and made me feel so damn lucky to be getting a higher education and to have the luxury to spend this time learning about the world.

I hosted my original radio show every week and brought my friends on to share their jams. I shamelessly came up with a mascot called Grumpy Monkey and photoshopped a top hat on him. I made a commercial and sent it to a big company, and they loved it and sent me a gift. A really funny gift. I worked my barely-paying student jobs, and reminded myself that I’m paying my dues. I had the opportunity to work at the same conference I worked at last year, and loved seeing how confident I’ve become and how far this year has taken me professionally. I was offered dream jobs I had to turn down, but I enjoyed feeling appreciated. Most of all, I loved and savored the way I’m viewed at my university – as an asset, as someone worth watching, as someone who’s going somewhere.

I’m going somewhere.

~

Last birthday, when I looked back on 20, I called the year “a quiet storm”. Though much had changed and much had happened, none of it really registered with me. Now I think there may have been a reason for that. Maybe there was a seed of recognition, deep in the pit of my stomach, that something was about to change. Maybe I had an inkling that the turning point for our relationship was right around the corner, and in my resistance to acknowledge that fact, everything else felt muted as well. Nothing remained muted for long.

Honestly, it hurts to look back on 21 right now. I think there was more sadness than anything else this year, and it still threatens to pull me down sometimes. But I’ve decided to adopt the belief that everything happens for a reason, or rather, I’ve decided to focus on the fact that I’ve learned something from all of it. From the first breakup, the one that only lasted for 9 days, I discovered the strength it takes to be capable of forgiveness, and the beauty of second chances. From this breakup, I think I learned acceptance. How powerful it is, and how painful.

From the second half of 21, from these days and nights that I’ve been all alone, I’ve been learning patience. Hearts take time to heal, and it takes time to feel okay. The only thing worse than being heartbroken was being mad at myself for it, so I learned how to be patient with myself, and how to listen to what my heart was telling me. I can hear it so clearly now.

~

At 21, I made myself proud. I know I did. I cried and I evolved and I rose and I learned and I loved. And I learned to love myself again (even when that felt impossible). I may not be where I thought I would be at this point in time, but I have no regrets. Through it all, I never forgot to feel grateful. Grateful for the people in my life who cared for me and supported me, for the people who made me laugh and who cried with me, and for him. For the two years we had and the person he helped me become. No matter what, I’m grateful for his love.

I hope that one day I’ll look back on these months of heartbreak and singlehood, and know that they were leading me to exactly where I needed to be.

Today, at 22, I’m different than I was before. I feel older, in so many ways. Somehow it feels like the more wisdom I collect the less able I am to put it into words. It’s just wisps of concepts and particles of thoughts. They fall into place bit-by-bit and form the way I see the world. It’s the bigger picture, and as it becomes ever more complex and incomplete, I find it all the more terrifying and beautiful.

There’s beauty in the unknown.

~

Ella

“Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we’re 22.” -Taylor Swift

(Coincidentally, this the blog’s 122nd post, which I find oddly satisfying.)

Rising.

 

I am rising.

 

Rising, as opposed to drowning

But not rising, as in forgetting.

 

The yearning

For him, the love, the passion

Persist inside me.

Nothing is gone.

(Except for him.)

 

It hurts less and less,

But I still think about him every day.

 

He’s with me every step of the way,

As I step towards a future

Without him.

I carry the past with me,

Wrapped and entangled

And entrenched

Always

In memories that wrench my heart

And blur my mind.

(More than anything),

I am stronger for it.

 

I am rising.

 

~

Ella

 

“I’ll rise up and I’ll do it a thousand times again.” -Andra Day

And all the sad words.

 

And all the sad words have been written and recorded.

In a loaded diary, in untitled documents, on discarded pieces of paper,

And in tears that have since dried.

 

And all the sad words break my heart right back into a million pieces,

Into sharp edged shards of glass that glisten and glimmer, mocking me.

And yet slowly the glass crumbles into sand.

 

And all the sad words sound like they were written by someone else,

Someone who seems to know exactly how I felt,

But who isn’t me. Because my attempts to distance myself from those shards of glass…

 

Are starting to work.

 

I can breathe.

 

Sometimes, when I look in the mirror, I glimpse the shadow of that girl. The one who couldn’t think, who couldn’t hear her own voice, who felt so torn apart inside it’s a wonder she remained intact.

 

That girl looked haggard.

She was in love,

But she was hurting.

 

I catch other glimpses though, in that stained and cracked bathroom mirror. I see the reflection of an elegant woman. She is brave and wise, confident and pure of heart. She is golden, effervescent, enchanted…

 

She knows how to love, and she will love again. And maybe next time it will be right.

 

~

Ella

 

“Birds flying high, you know how I feel / Sun in the sky, you know how I feel / Breeze driftin’ on by, you know how I feel / It’s a new dawn / It’s a new day / It’s a new life / For me.” – Nina Simone

At first I called this “The Dock”, but now I’m calling it “In The Water”.

 

The girl was on the rickety dock for months.

The dock was familiar, and it felt like home.

Sometimes she was closer to the shore, at other times closer to the water, but most of the time

She was sat safely in the middle of the dock.

 

Until one day

She realized that the water seemed to be getting closer.

Maybe the tides were changing, or it had rained so much that the water level had started rising.

Or maybe, just maybe, the girl had been moving

Unnoticed even to her.

 

Something had changed.

All of a sudden the girl found herself on the very edge of the dock.

Her toes peeked out over the water, the water that was so close, and she felt the spray of droplets tickle her feet. She stood like that for a few days, sobbing, and looking back at the path she had walked. Then, she took a deep breath, braced herself and stepped off the dock.

 

Splashing

Gasping

Reaching

Crying

Drowning.

 

The blue coated her.

The sea claimed her.

Under the surface everything was dark.

She was cold.

 

And so the girl came to live her life from way out at sea.

Every day she kicked her legs to stay afloat, even as she drifted further into the depths.

Sometimes, her head was fully above water, and she could breathe.

She could even feel the heat of the sunlight on her closed eyelids.

But when she tired of the effort it took to stay in the sun, she sank back into the water,

Where the monsters were lying in wait.

 

The strain of the struggle has warped the girl’s perception of time.

Two full years of her life led her to that dock, and now

She’s been in the water for two months.

Both stretches of time feel equally as endless.

 

Only one has come to an end.

 

The girl is in the water.

She isn’t waiting there to be saved. She knows how to swim.

She’ll swim back to shore when she’s ready.

(She’s just not ready.)

~

Ella

“It’s everything you ever want
It’s everything you ever need
And it’s here right in front of you
This is where you wanna be…

So tell me do you wanna go?” -The Greatest Show

(No.)

Day 1.

 

December 3rd, 2016 – December 21st, 2018

 

His key on my desk. It’s over. Pile of tissues on the bed. On his side of the bed. An empty shelf in the closet. Missing utensils in the kitchen. No toothbrush. No future together.

I wanted one more night. I needed it. To live it while knowing it was the the last one, to hold him tight, to memorize the way it feels with him. To look into his beautiful eyes while I still could, and tell him how much I love him. I asked him for the night.

We both knew. We’ve known for a while. It was in the air, and we left it unspoken, so we could just have a little bit more time. It was heartbreakingly, gut-wrenchingly, sad.

There was nothing left to say. He won’t be my one and only forever. He won’t be mine anymore. Two years is the time we were destined to have.

But we tried so hard to save it. I tried so hard. It has taken me months to come to terms with the fact that there is nothing left I can try, nothing else I can do, except accept the situation. There’s no use fighting the truth anymore. You can only fight for so long.

We knew it had to end, and we knew that it would. That knowledge was tearing me apart. For months I’ve been stuck in a loop, trying to bring myself to end it but not wanting to. My heart has broken every day, over and over again, but it I never gave it a chance to heal. I’ve been preparing for Day 1 for so long, and fearing it for so long, but I never made it to Day 2.

Now it’s over. It’s Day 1. And tomorrow will be Day 2.

~

We put his things in the car and he pulled me a few steps aside. We hugged, and he twirled me around. We looked at each other lovingly, tears falling on my cheeks, glistening in the sunlight. We kissed. He called me his. I called him mine. He told me I’m beautiful. We walked the few steps back, holding hands. “My first love,” I smiled up at him, holding him with two hands. “And hopefully not your last,” he said. And smiled back.

~

Ella

~

Like it was written for our last night together…  “All I Ask” by Adele:

 

I will leave my heart at the door

I won’t say a word

They’ve all been said before, you know

So why don’t we just play pretend

Like we’re not scared of what is coming next

Or scared of having nothing left

 

Look, don’t get me wrong

I know there is no tomorrow

All I ask is

 

If this is my last night with you

Hold me like I’m more than just a friend

Give me a memory I can use

Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do

It matters how this ends

‘Cause what if I never love again?

 

I don’t need your honesty

It’s already in your eyes

And I’m sure my eyes, they speak for me

No one knows me like you do

And since you’re the only one that mattered

Tell me who do I run to?

….

Let this be our lesson in love

Let this be the way we remember us …. 

 

Changed. – 20

19 brought it on.

At 19, I moved out. I built a new life for myself, by myself, in a new city. I said goodbye to a place I loved very much, and with the support of everyone back home I went in search of something new. I didn’t have a single friend here when I moved, and today I barely leave my apartment without seeing someone I know. I have fallen in love with this city – its rhythm, its quirks, its sights, its sounds and above all, its people. This is my home now, and I will never be alone here again.

That said, it wasn’t easy. This year has been riddled with challenges, some I anticipated and many I did not. There were nights I was so tired and so achy I couldn’t move to turn off the lights, and mornings I felt so sick I cried getting out of bed. There were complications at every turn and frustrating surprises, but there were also moments of pure triumph and pride when I succeeded where I feared I wouldn’t. Nothing was ever ideal, but I adapted, managed and rediscovered time and time again how strong I am. I was determined not to let anything get in my way, and I didn’t.

At 19, I worked harder than I’ve ever worked before and proved myself from scratch. I had no idea how stressful (and occasionally infuriating) my position at the Center would be or what a toll it would take. But when all’s said and done, I think I will always look back on it fondly for one reason: the people. If it weren’t for the Center, I would not have the community that I do. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by incredible, unique, good people. I have friends for whom words do no justice, and have had experiences so random and so amazing I could never have dreamt them up. I’ve gained beautiful people in my life without losing any I had before, and have lived memories that will last a lifetime.  

At 19, I learned a different kind of happiness I never believed existed. I used to say, “Happiness is not a state of being, it’s just fleeting moments that pass you by and you need to know how to notice them.” Now I know that the only kind of happiness I knew before 19 was incredibly fragile. That’s not the smile I wear anymore. Now, when shit hits the fan it turns into sparkles, because the happiness I have found is the kind that doesn’t run away. It trembles, sometimes, but it’s a pure and true joy that miraculously refuses to leave.

At 19, I fell in love. How strange to think that for the first half of 19 I didn’t have Tom. So much has happened, to us and between us, in just six months. He is everything I ever dreamed of, and everything I didn’t realize I should dream of. It took me a long time to believe he was real, to feel like we were real. But he is, and we are. I melt at the thought of him, and I never feel as at peace as I do when he finally embraces me in his arms. I never smile as widely as I do when he gets excited or want to sing as much as I do when I’m with him. He makes me shine. Or rather, I let myself shine when I’m with him.

I have no doubt the memories I made this year really will last a lifetime – and a lot of those memories are with Tom. We’ve gone through some really tough, trying times together, but regardless of whether I was crying or laughing at the beginning of a conversation, I was always laughing at the end. We’re the absolute cutest. We’re so in love even we think it’s a bit much. We’re a real life couple, but we’re a match made in heaven.

At 19, everything came up roses. I had fun. I worked, I worked out, I sang. I saw sunlight everywhere I looked. I cooked, I cleaned, I crashed, I took the stairs without realizing. I talked to strangers. I wrote, I read, I filmed, I edited, I felt like I could fly. I laughed so hard my collar bone hurt and I jumped every time I got a text. I cried. I listened. I took walks and got lost on purpose.

I watched the sunsets from my balcony and fell asleep on my roommates. I supported my friends, new and old, and I supported my partner, as each and every one of them went after the things they want and deserve in life. I spent hours and hours on the phone, being long distance not only with Tom but also my family and my friends from home. I took it all in and then I brought all of my worlds together.

At 19, I existed under a new sky, not because I went somewhere else but because I became someone else. I became who I’ve always wanted to be.  

I’m not 19 anymore. But whenever I walk the streets of this city, I will always be 19 again. These roads will be my memory lanes. Everywhere I walk I’ll feel the rush of independance and exhilaration all over again. Stairs will remind me of stories, buildings will remind me of people and alleys will remind me of feelings. Every step will remind me how it felt to be young and in love.

It’s on these streets that I felt more alive than ever before. It’s on these streets that I lived a life I wasn’t sure I would ever get to have.

It’s on these streets that everything changed.

I’m about to say my third big goodbye in three years. Everything is going to change all over again. Another new city, another new adventure, another chance to find myself fearless in the face of all of my fears. It’s the end of an era that has taught me more than I could probably realize right now.

Turning 20 is a big deal. It’s a big number. I always hoped I would get a chance to be a healthy teenager, but that’s not how things have worked out. After graduation I began the journey of figuring out how to live my adult life while sick, and I’ve done that. I’ve succeeded. I have been fearless. And I know, I’ll be fine. I just wish it didn’t have to be such a struggle to be fine. I’m so tired of the endless circle of pain and I wish I could make it end. I never talk about it anymore because I try not to think about it. I’ve learned to soften, lean forwards and allow my feelings to be engulfed by the presence of another person, whoever that person may be. I find solace and refuge in words that having nothing to do with pain. I submerge myself in interactions, in conversation, in laughter, so that what weighs on my heart isn’t heavy enough to hurt it.

I wish I could say there was no sadness laced into this birthday, but there is. As much as I love my life, I was forced to give up a lot and I think that will always hurt. It comes and goes in waves, the sting of all that my health denied me. But I can say there are no regrets laced into this birthday, because I have proven to myself and everyone around me that healthy or not, I’m going to achieve every goal I set for myself and love every step of the way. I may be sick and sick of it, but I am living the life.

At 20 I can say with my whole heart that I am happy. I am confident. I am in love. And I am ready – to continue having the time of my life.

~~~

Ella

“That’s the delicate way you’ve shown me, you’re the strongest person I know.” -The Streets

Silk.

We stole

A day.

To make everything

Okay

Again.

 

Plans out the window and

I can’t control my thoughts,

Foot on the pedal and

My nerves are doused in rain.

 

Just this once,

There’s no need for

The endless chain of

Busses and trains.

Just this once,

My car

Will transport

My body and

My baggage

(And my heart

Is already,

Always,

Wherever you are.)

 

Now I’m on

My way

To you.

 

I tried

Not to

But I

Scripted

Myself

A vision

Of how this would go.

I was so sure

I had lost you.

 

I know you told me

You’re back

I know you told me

You aren’t out

I know you told me

This is it and

The reason is me.

 

I know everything you’ve said

And everything you say.

It’s just that

You can’t possibly fathom

How hard it is

For me to believe

You feel the way

You say you do.

 

And I don’t know why that is.

 

But you should know

I left

The words I sketched

Outside, in the parked

Locked

Car.

 

This is a relationship

On steroids.

You move so quickly

I can’t always keep up.

Sometimes I forget

What it was like

Before

I had you.

 

But I never forget you existed

And lived and loved

Before I knew you

Existed, lived and loved.

 

That night,

I made you promise

That we would stay up

Until

We felt close again

Like before.

 

But –

That night,

After hours

Of staring into your eyes,

Silk laced thoughts

Tracing our silhouettes,

There were other

Promises

On my mind.

 

We stole

A day.

And made everything

Okay

Again.

 

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

We had time against us, miles between us, the heavens cried, I know I left you speechless. But now the sky has cleared and it’s blue and I see my future in you. -I’ll Be Waiting, Adele

Orange.

Who knew a butchered orange could be so sweet?

 

Standing in my kitchen and the dark world beyond can see us so clearly in the light. I think to myself, we’re like a normative couple with the time to cook together. We’re swaying to music and I smile at him as he’s focused on his mission of – making dinner. I pass him by the stove and he swivels us against the sink and I smile at him as he’s focused on his mission of – kissing me. He leans back and I lean into him and still we sway to the music and still the dark world beyond can see us so clearly and I think to myself, 

Is it the motown that makes us unreal?

 

I take him on park tours and he tells me everything and he knows how to make my heart miss a beat. I read him like an open book and we both think we aren’t photogenic (but love pictures) and  I own fairy lights. I barely notice his British accent anymore and we text each other black and white pictures of couples from a different century and he likes gummy candies (and beer). I worry about him being sad and he makes me promise to wake him up in the night if I don’t feel well and we read each other poetry. We visit his dad for afternoon tea and he sees right through me and we sit on a beach staring out at the sea. We sandwich our phones away and he holds his hand against my cheek and we watch a movie with my family and I think to myself, 

Is it the lighting that makes us unreal?

 

We’re young and the future is far away, but we’re not that young together and the future is on our minds. Together and apart we ponder this relationship and how can our hearts feel so strongly so quickly? We take it in turns and we yearn for some answer that will be enough. How will this go, how will this end, will this end – we freak out. We’re too young to have answers, or maybe we won’t ever have any, in fact – maybe it’s best if we forget all about the questions. We’re young together and actually not that young and what if this is the beginning of the story? Hand on heart, because it feels so right, and he tells me he’s waiting for the other shoe to drop and perhaps so am I. But I look at him when we go dancing and when he quotes a reference of mine back at me and and when he chuckles his little boy chuckle and I think to myself,

Is it the timing that make us unreal?

 

Sunlight reaching through the cracked open window because maybe our emotions needed a way to escape the room. Reality roaring it’s wretched wrath and crawling past our gaze, announcing the dawn of a new day and another goodbye. We almost got used to not missing each other. It’s time to go back to, “I love you, sweetie, I’ve got to go now.” But I don’t want to forget the way he smiles a tiny smile when he calls me honeybunny and how it feels to be in his strong embrace, pressed against his body, lining up because we fit (his arms containing my Goodbye Sadness). Little, kisses, squeeze, it’s so cold when he leaves, and I think to myself, 

Is it the distance that makes us unreal? 

 

A butchered orange has never been this sweet. 

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

I’ll paint the picture, let me set the scene, you know, the future’s in the hands of you and me… but what do I know? -What Do I Know, Ed Sheeran

Honestly.

It’s stupid

But I so feel

Like this

Is goodbye.

  • A turning point

 

If anyone deserves

To have the world

Smile back at them,

It’s you.

  • Neither of us said what we really meant that day

 

I miss him and

I’m not even sure he’s

Mine

To miss.

  • Can we talk now?

 

I missed you,

I said.

I missed you,

He said,

The following night.

  • I’ve got a really good feeling about this

 

What was that?

A self five.

For what?

You.

  • What if this is the guy?

 

My feet are cold.

I guess that’s what you get

With a winter romance.

  • “Not just a winter romance”

 

Good morning,

Sunshine,

This time tomorrow

I’ll be 

On my way to you.

  • A day never felt so far away

 

Good night,

Darling,

I miss you dearly.

Was nice talking to you

However briefly

Thinking of you

Hoping to dream

Of you.

  • It’s okay to cry because he isn’t here to see it

 

I have to go

I’m really sorry

You finish at 9.30

I’ll call you then

I love you

I’m sorry

I know I said

I love you

We’ll talk about it later

I have to go

Bye.

  • “You realize two weeks ago I didn’t know if you liked me or not?”

 

I think my patience will outlast your ability not to say it back.

  • Could you read it in my eyes?

 

Why are you dancing?

Because I want to.

  • 3 in the morning, wrapped in a fluffy, orange blanket

 

I have never

Seen him this happy.

  • He doesn’t know she said that

 

I have never

Felt this good in my entire life.

  • Only I know he said that

 

I just want to cuddle the fuck out of you

Already.

Read to me?

I can’t sleep because of you.

I miss you so goddamned much, it’s crazy.

How is it fair that so much of my

Thoughts are taken up by you?

I can’t wait to simply hear your

Voice.

  • Thoughts from a distance

 

Honestly

If in three years’ time

We’re still together

I can hand on heart say

I’ll marry you.

  • You made my heart stop. I love you too

 

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

When the evening shadows and the stars appear, and there is no one there to dry your tears, I could hold you for a million years, to make you feel my love. -Make You Feel My Love, Adele