New York

You are the one that never was but somehow got away.

At first it was complicated. I didn’t want to like you, you seemed so out of reach and simultaneously reminded me too much of London. When I first returned to the States I denied my feelings for you adamantly, even proclaiming you “the poor man’s London”. I moved to the opposite coast of the country to get away from you. Being close to you meant being close to London and that was more than my mending heart could handle.

It’s not that I was ever unsure of my feelings for you. I always knew and they were strong. Rather, I was afraid they would not be reciprocated. I couldn’t bring myself to say the words. I knew it would be hard work, and I was tired from so many previous heartbreaks and letdowns. So I never tried. I convinced myself we could just be friends.

When I was feeling lost or broken I would take solace in you. I would lose myself in your abyss. I was never able to fully express how I felt but I took comfort in knowing you were there across the country waiting for me. Each time I moved I considered and reconsidered you. Each time I talked myself out of it.

Over time I couldn’t handle seeing you and not having a relationship and I couldn’t just be friends anymore, so I stopped returning to you. And eventually you stopped waiting. You moved on. I tried to forget you.

I made up excuses and convinced myself I was over you. That we were just not meant to be. I ignored my heart in lieu of an easier path outlined by my head.

And for a while I did forget about you. For a while I was able to make peace with the distance and our separation. For a while I stopped considering you an option.

When people brought you up in conversation I’d always respond with a casual, “oh, I love New York”. All the while I longed for an excuse to see you again. Now I experience familiar bangs of envy for those who have found their opportunity to commit to you. Yet, I’ve resigned myself to the fact it’s unlikely I ever will.

Still, I listen with hope as friends comment “I can’t believe you never moved to New York” or “you never know” when I tell them I’m not sure it’s meant to happen. I hear my heart and gut in chorus quietly echoing their remarks. Because you never do know. And just maybe, New York, we aren’t finished yet.

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