The shoot that pierces the heart and grows

I don’t remember meeting you. I remember dropping papers in front of you and embarrassment at your kindness as you picked them up. I remember playing cards and walking in the woods. I remember you.

I remember us. I remember you telling me you liked me at 3 a.m. over text. I remember feeling so complete, a tightening in my heart and a smile grazing my face even though I was alone in the room.

It didn’t last long. I wasn’t mature enough, and to be fair, neither were you. I ended whatever we had 3 months in. I don’t like uncertainty. I remember giving you the letter, the nervous feeling that you would open it before I bolted. I didn’t want to write a letter. But I really didn’t have the time to talk. I was off being a person, learning and growing. But I never knew what you felt during the whole ordeal. After a brief time we settled back into the easy pattern of friendship we had before.

Years later I questioned that it had even happened. We’d remained quite good friends. And I still had feelings for you. But I never knew how you felt.

I’m more assertive now. “I’ve been curious, ” I start. My mind is calm and clear. “Are you aromantic?” I pause for the answer. “Yes.”

A strange calm fills me. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about moving forward and moving backwards. It’s never been clearer that the way to go is forward.

It’s not that I’m not hurt to know that he never liked me the way I liked him. A part of me mourns the years I’ve spent considering a possibility that was never a possibility. A part of me feels like a comfortable loving future has been ripped from me. He made me question if I felt love. He made me feel like I could. I pictured us discussing politics over the morning paper and watching movies under the light of the fireplace. I pictured a life where I wasn’t alone. My future now feels uncertain. I may be forever alone.

But another part of me is blossoming, shoots growing through my heart. A growth of clarity, of direction. I’m no longer bound by a future. His words watered my roots giving me room to grow. I’m limitless.

(From February 2017)

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