I don’t know why I am writing this since you’ll probably never read it. In fact, I know you’ll won’t because I would never show it to you. Still, you know better than most how I have always had an easier time writing how I feel than expressing it out loud. Some things never change I guess.
I am sitting in the park writing twirling a sugar packet in my fingers. Don’t worry it’s not the same one from that day though to be fair I did keep the quarter in my pocket. What can I say; I’m a mix of packrat and romantic. I still think about that afternoon. It was so unexpected but that spontaneity is what makes it so beautiful. It still astounds me how an entire relationship can be changed by just simply saying something.
* * *
You walked in to the café with your usual mix of confidence and subtlety. Do you know how much the room changes around you when you walk in? I know it sounds crazy, but I swear you somehow manage to command the attention of everyone with each step. You never seem to notice it. I did though. I remember the first time I saw you across the classroom. You wear biting down on the end of your pen with your brow furrowed. I thought you must be a great student if you were focusing so much on the first day of lecture. Of course, you were actually on your phone waiting for concert tickets to go on sale. Even then, you made people notice you without trying. Still that is a memory for another time.
You were wearing that pink and yellow floral dress that hugged your hips just the right way while still swaying back and forth while you walked. Man, that dress. I don’t know if it was the dress or the way you wore it, but there were some thoughts that come about I would be embarrassed to tell my best friends about. You wore your hair differently that day. Instead of the ponytail, you let it fall down past your shoulders. It had a slight shine to it. I liked it. My heart skipped a beat as you sashayed toward me. My heart skipped a beat when you sat down. I lost thought of everything when you grabbed my hand. At that moment, I was lost in you and would have done virtually anything. I knew I was in love. Neither one of us had said it before, but I hoped to gain the courage to do so. I never thought you would beat me to the punch with your own declaration.
It was a pretty standard lunch. One of the many we have had. The waitress came by with the typical niceties and took our order. I went with my usual and ordered a club sandwich. You wanted to try something new and got a spicy pasta dish. You seemed excited at the novelty of your decision. You were all smiles. The topics of museums, art, and new places that had recently opened up were the only things you had in mind. I could feel the energy radiating from your body. I don’t know why you were so excited, but it was contagious and a bit overwhelming.
We hadn’t really managed to talk before our food arrived. We ate in relative silence. Sure, we made sure we were each satisfied with our meals and offered a bite or two to the other. For the most part, we were content to just be next to each other. Our plated disappeared after we had finished our meals. We discussed whether dessert was an option, but we knew better than to actually order anything more.
I could feel the atmosphere change during that dessert chat. I knew I had to tell you how I felt at that moment or I would lose the nerve. I started to speak but you cut me off before I could get a word out.
“I need to tell you something and I want you to listen before saying anything, ok.”
I nodded my head in response. It was unlike you to take charge in such a manner, but you had been acting a bit different then.
“I need to say this now before I get too scared to say it. We’ve been together for some time now and I just feel that…I think, no, I know that this is the right time and the right thing. Mark, we should break up. We are done…”
You kept talking about how we had grown apart and that we were now two different people or that maybe we had always been or something like that. Truth be told, I stopped paying attention after you said “We are done.” They were not the words I wanted to say, hear, or expected, but there they were. They couldn’t be taken back and I doubt you were going to try. We were over.
* * *
Everything else from that day is kind of a blur. I remember paying for the food. I can recall getting up and saying goodbye for the last time. I can still picture you walking away from me.
I suppose looking back that I shouldn’t be too surprised. You were right. We had grown up and grown apart. Whether that was natural progression or lack of our own consideration doesn’t really matter anymore. Still, I needed to write this to you, even though you will never see it, to thank you.
Admittedly, I was a bit of a mess after that day. It took a while for me to get over you and move one, but if I hadn’t I would never have met her. You two are similar but so vastly different. She also finds most of my jokes a bit corny but is willing to laugh at them as long as I pay her the same favor. The first time she came over to my place she also commented on my extensive comic collection, but then she showed me here Wonder Woman tattoo on her…well the placement doesn’t really matter.
The point is I love her and she feels the same way. Somehow in this immense world I found someone who compliments and challenges me and I owe a small bit of this happiness to you. I don’t know where or how you are, but I just wanted to thank you for everything and for saying those three little words.