The following is a love letter submission from a reader of the blog. Enjoy!
I once heard a teenage girl having a conversation with her mother on a park bench. The girl said that she was in love with a celebrity and felt awful that didn’t and might never get to know him. Mother explained that this was a crush, puppy love, a lesson in love for the day she found her match. Mother said “…that’s not love, love is when you have those feelings about someone and they have those feelings for you in return. That can’t be love, this boy doesn’t even know you exist.” I thought to myself “so if the feeling isn’t mutual it’s not really love?”.
At one point in my life I might’ve agreed with that woman. I would’ve thought “how can you love someone that doesn’t love you back?” The idea would’ve seemed absurd.
Funny how there are things that you remember so vividly. Like this memoir of the woman and her daughter on a park bench, or a Christmas day intertangled in the arms of someone else. Christmas of 2011. I made love to you; tenderly, lovingly, with all the feelings in my heart. I’d never wanted to admit I loved you.
I would spend every waking moment with you in mind, wondering what you were doing. If you’d eaten, if you felt happy. Wanting to do anything in my power to make you happy. Never had someone made me feel so fortunate to be by their side, so proud. Only one other time in my life had I wanted to take care of someone so much, age 10 when I found a pigeon with a broken wing and nursed it back to health…but you are more than that pigeon. You are my happiness, your happiness is mine.
I made love to you that cool night. My feelings built up like pressure in a tea kettle, and I said it loud and clear “I love you”. You were silent, you smiled, you kissed me, but you didn’t say it back. You explained that you didn’t feel that yet. Needless to say I cried myself to sleep that night wishing Santa was real.
New Year’s came, we went out, you got hammered. We fought for whatever reason. I helped you make it up the stairs to apartment. You cried… I was uncomfortable, didn’t know what to do. I’d never seen a guy genuinely cry before. You blurted “it’s not fair, it’s not fair because I don’t love you”. You yelled it out, I think a few cats died. I remembered the woman in the park and her advice. It was then I decided it was wrong. I decided that you didn’t have to love me for my feelings to be real. I didn’t need you to say it back in order to validate my feelings, then again I’ve always been very independent. I held back tears, you then told me that you loved me. “I love you so much, with every bone in my body!”, you said.
I wish I could write a beautiful poem a la Pablo Neruda, or a great love letter like so many writers in love have been able to jot down on paper, but all I have is this memoir. The sequence of events from my point of view. I can’t articulate adequately how I feel, I still don’t know if it is you or the beers from that night that said that they love me.
I don’t care.
I don’t think a beautiful poem or profound love letter telling you that “I’d sail a thousand ships and wait a thousand years” would suffice. To this day the most beautiful thing Ive felt is truth, and that is what I want to give you, the truth.
I hope someday you can see what I see. Until then, I just hope that the woman in the park changed her view on love, or hired a marriage counselor.
With all the love in my heart,