Love Letters to the World We Made (V)

Previous: IV

You will never understand.

How much you mean to me. How much I treasure our sparse memories. How much my heart aches reaching across the great divide in search of you, desperate for something, someone, who makes me feel normal and valid and loved. You will never understand because my feelings, my complexities as a human being, can never be accurately reduced to the written or spoken word – and we knew this when we sat down to write our story together for the first time. We knew this, and still, we wrote. And still, we loved.

Sometimes, I step hesitantly into the water and in my mind burns an immediate image of you – submerged, your eyes closed, your hair drifting, the current hiking up your shirt to reveal that beautiful tattoo. This image is pulled out from the deepest recesses of my memory by a flickering goddess who breathes sparks upon it and gives it life. For a time, it takes up residence in my heart, and I cherish it like I would an abandoned child. I will never be the same.

Your name lingers on my tongue like a dream of a falling star. I am mortally terrified of the day I will forget it.

Every time you took my hand, every time you wrapped me up in your embrace, every time I cried on your flat chest, that goddess of memory captured my emotions in her perfectly cupped hands, poured them into a glass box, and stored them safely away. I am determined to keep these special boxes safe and free – determined in a way I have never been, determined in a way that is not possible. I know that it’s not possible. And still, I try. Still, I love.

If only, you whisper. Unworthy. Damaged. Broken. Unlovable.

You won’t believe my will to prove you wrong.

Because all of the man-made tragedies we’ve suffered have transformed our bodies and our minds, but we will not let them transform our hearts. That is one thing they cannot take from us – one thing they cannot take from me. Although this world is as it is, I will not relinquish my heart to a falling star in a nameless effort to survive it. I pray that you won’t relinquish yours. I know that my prayers go to imperfect goddesses who cannot always grant them – but still, I hope. And still, I love.

I will not give up my heart for them. I won’t let you give up yours. We cannot let them win because if they win, our children will lose. If they win, our futures will crumble into pieces, and any possibility of human healing will go down the drain, and you and I –

“You and I” will no longer exist.

We have to exist. We have to make it to the end of our story. And I will love you until we get there.

Next: VI

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