Open Topic

Dancing With His Ghost.

I was naive maybe foolish for believing in you as much as I did. When people ask about you, I don’t know how to describe it really. 

We didn’t date. But we weren’t friends. I knew that much to be true. I knew friends didn’t look at each other the way we did. I knew friends didn’t talk to each other the way we did. Friends didn’t love each other as hard and with as much chaos as we did. Friends didn’t know me to the core of who I was. Something like that took time. Something like that took effort. Something like that took conversations late at night, as our deepest secrets were shared only between us.

There is something about the person who knew you before you figured out who you were yourself. There is something about someone who was such an important character in your past they can’t help but influence the future. There is something about falling in love with someone before you even knew what the words really meant, but you knew enough that this person in this moment means more to you than anyone ever will. There is something about the people who grew with us. The ones who made us who we are. So much so if you dissected parts of yourself and were left with skin and bones, you’d see bits and pieces of certain people there.

He was one of those people.

But we never dated. We never were a couple.

In fact, when I bring up his name most people who knew me back then, didn’t know our history.

It was a history I didn’t know would become one because what felt like days that turned into weeks, turned into months then years. And there we were at a standstill, but going no where. Standing side by side, but never taking a step forward.

They ask how long it went on and sometimes I’m embarrassed to admit I let someone lead me on that long. But the thing about almost relationships is, there isn’t logic to it. There’s just these really intense feelings and things constantly changing. But you almost become addicted to the adrenaline rush.

If you asked me years ago would we end up together? I know there were times I truly believed it. I know there were times where I wanted this narrative to play out in the favor I ignored everyone and everything. Even him sometimes. Because he warned me too. “You’re going to get hurt.”

But the physical relationship didn’t stop there. The emotional relationship continued. And with every day it was like adding fuel to a fire that was only causing self-destruction. But I didn’t want to walk away from it. When you invest as much time and emotion and energy into someone, you want to be right about them. You want it to work out for you.

So you love as hard as you possibly can as if that would have changed things.

But almost relationships aren’t real relationships. They are a figment of what you want it to be. And while you fall in love with the person in front of you, you also fall in love with a fantasy you created in your mind.

The what ifs that seem like they could be a reality if only.

If only they chose you. 

If only they chose you, you’d have a plus one to that wedding, you wanted only to go with them.

If only they chose you, you’d have an extra seat so someone who understands, could endure a family holiday with you.

If only they chose you, you’d have Friday night dates instead of just staring at your phone hoping they’d answer.

If only they chose you, you wouldn’t be at the bar drinking to forget someone who gave you so much to remember.

It’s the “what if” that haunts you most.

What if you were different? 

What if you were prettier?

What if you were more successful?

What if you took that chance when you had it?

What if one day they woke up and realized you’ve always been it?

The “what ifs” you learned to stop believing.

The songs you hear on the radio you stop listening to because the melody replays the past you wish you could forget.

The roads you drive down, you feel like you’ll see their ghost just waiting for you.

Waiting for you to pick up where you left off. Waiting to continue this story that part of you has let go of, but part of you is still in love with.

And you go back to places that used to be yours hoping maybe they are there too.

But then you have to remind yourself, they moved on.

And that hurts like hell because here you are dancing with the ghost of their memory loving someone who isn’t even there. Loving someone you know didn’t deserve you.

Loving someone who hurt you more than anyone could have.

You still look for their ghost in the darkness. You still seek parts of them in others.

The past replays in your mind because you don’t want to forget it.

The past replays in your mind because they are still with you even when you don’t want them to be.

You remember that final goodbye that you didn’t believe would be the end, because how many times did you guys find your way back to each other?

But that final moment was different.

That final moment was the end of an era and the start of you rereading a book you knew the ending to, but didn’t want to believe would become reality.

You reread the past as if doing so would change the future and just when you get to that heart breaking ending, you decide you close the book, not finish the last page but start again. 

Because the words “I met someone” are just a reminder that it was never going to be you.

The words “it’s over” is a reminder that it never actually began.

And trying to explain heartbreak to anyone when it wasn’t really a relationship, to begin with makes you look and feel like a fool.

So instead you stay silent, pretending she doesn’t exist. Pretending someone else isn’t getting the ending you so desperately wanted. Knowing the life you imagined with this person is going to be her reality.

And while she’s dancing with him, you’re dancing with his ghost.



Open Topic

What Is Love?

Sometimes I wonder if I know what love actually is.

Is love only real and validated when you can say you’re in a relationship? 

Is love only real and validated when the person loves you back?

There is no single definition of love.

It comes in many forms.

The love between a parent and child. 

The love between siblings.

The love between friends.

The love in an intimate relationship.

The love you have for people in your inner circle.

When someone says “I love you,” people don’t question is the relationship deep enough that you can say those things? You love who you love and that can come from whoever and be given freely to anyone. 

Whether I know what an accurate definition of love actually is, is up for debate.

Is there a difference between loving someone and falling in love?

Maybe.

Does love fade when you say those words and don’t hear them back, or do they just linger hanging onto to pieces of a broken heart but still present?

Sometimes I wonder if it was love or infatuation. Sometimes I wonder if I made everything up in my head. But how could that be when every time I saw you my heart would physically beat faster? How could that be when my face would get red whenever someone said your name? I couldn’t have made this all up in my head, at least I want to believe that wasn’t the case.

I want to believe I meant it when I said “I loved you.” I want to believe every gesture was in hopes of showing you I cared, not trying to convince you too. I want to believe at least on my end it was real. 

And unconditional love, whether you felt the same way or not.

There is no single definition of what love really is. But if I had to describe it simply, it’s like there wasn’t anyone that made me happier. There wasn’t anyone who made me laugh harder. There wasn’t anyone who made me blush the way you did with subtle compliments. And there wasn’t anyone I would have done more for. I literally would have done anything you asked of me. Gone anywhere at any moments notice. If only you asked.

I looked at you and I truly believed you were one of the best things to have happened in my life. I looked at you in a crowded room and it didn’t matter what attention I was getting. My eyes were locked on you and only you. It was looking at someone and despite their flaws or shortcoming, still I think they are the most beautiful person in the entire world and you wouldn’t change a hair on their head.

To me, love is looking at someone and their presence in your life makes you a better version of yourself. When you can have really hard conversations and still walk away with the respect you have for each other. When you hurt one another and say the wrong things but you still find forgiveness because your life without them wouldn’t be as wonderful if they just walked away. It’s wanting to know everything about someone, just the little things. It’s not being able to go a day without speaking to them because every day with them is the newest best day of your life.

It’s the conversations that last for hours and somehow you never run out of things to say. It’s something happening in your day and wanting to tell them first.

It’s hearing their voice and there is a calmness to whatever type of day you are having. It’s going to bed at night and they are the ones you’re thinking of. It’s waking up and they are your first thought.

Maybe I don’t know what love really is. Because maybe the real definition is when someone loves you back. But that’s only part of it. What if love is caring about someone unconditionally whether they can reciprocate it or not? Caring about someone and putting their happiness above your own. Maybe it’s loving someone and not needing it to be returned because those deep feelings are enough for you.

To find someone who can stimulate all those emotions and form that deep of a connection with is rare. And whatever people may classify as love, I think it’s up to you to define it yourself.

But I think at the end of the day, love is finding someone who simply makes you happy to be alive and values the relationship you do have, whatever that relationship may be.

It’s looking at someone and believing you can do anything because they are there. It’s looking at someone and just being happy they exist. It’s being the best version of yourself because of their influence and what they do give you.

And if you are really lucky, the person you love decides to love you back.