The way people looked at us, like they couldn’t believe I was with you, like I should be someone in my league, someone taller, someone more just more.
They’re right, they’re all right.
I take him on a tour of the house, we get to my room, don’t worry I say I’m not trying anything I just need to change my clothes. I’m taring through my suitcase and he’s standing leaning against the bedpost.
"I love you" he says and my heart soars.
"Did you just say, I love you?" I ask stunned and he nods.
"I love you," he tells me again.
I can’t stop smiling. I’d given up hope but this was all I ever wanted.
"I love you too, of course I do," I tell him.
And then as I reach for him, I wake up.
I don’t think most people get this many incredible people in a lifetime. So I met them later in life. I wrote once, “the people you love, that is who you are,” and up until this moment I don’t think even I knew what I meant.
And that is this:
We are not perfect people, none of us, but we all need other people, we all love other people, and the people I love, I need them. They bring out the best in me, they change me everyday, and they need me too, to make them laugh, remind them they are so many things, but sometimes just to remind them they are loved, even if just by me. And it’s part of us, that love, all of that love, all of the things that came from that love, it’s what makes us a person, it’s what makes our lives what they are, it’s how we make sense of ourselves; by understanding ourselves in terms of the people we love, what we are to them, and what they are to us.
There’s a memory of mine, you and me driving, one hand on the wheel, the other in mine, that’s one of my favorites, one where I remember thinking to myself, “This is what happiness feels like,”
I wonder when you realized this time, or maybe remembered, I’m an all or nothing girl. I wonder when you decided it wasn’t a good idea to see me. I wonder when but mostly I wonder why. The thing is, I can wonder all I want, but there is one thing I’m almost sure and that is this: I think I may have loved you once, up until last week, up until last night, maybe even up until this morning, but you killed it, I felt it, I felt all those feelings I had about you, that happiness, those good memories, that potential love, die.
The thing that gets me is you were everything I didn’t want, never wanted, especially in all the superficial ways, but somehow you made me happy. Then you killed it. That’s where we are now. It’s dead, finally. Which is a good thing I think, because now I can finally mourn.
I hope while you’re busy living your new life, with all these new friends that someone sees a picture of me somewhere and you have to explain how you alienated the only person who you could ever truly call your best friend.
"I…I think, I can’t even say it,"
"Sweetie, I think you do love him, I think you fell in love with him,"
"Ugh, that’s so annoying,""
"You know it took me all of five minutes to emphasthize with a normal person and make them feel for me, and I think with papa it took me all summer but I think I taught him how to be a person again, I helped him to rejoin humanity."
"That’s quite a feat, what’s your secret?"
"I think I just loved him until he learned to love me back"
This summer I did an incredible thing, I helped my 95 year old Grandpa rejoin the world again, helped him to open his heart and reach out for another person, to love another person again, to love his granchildren. But I also taught him to be loved, to accept love.
But tonight I learned that cats can unite anyone, a sad story, or even a happy one, any kind really, can connect perfect strangers and remind us we’re all human, we’ve all loved something and cried over something, and even in a room full of strangers, or a line at the pharmacy, all it takes is speaking something aloud to create a community.