Lately I’ve noted that I wake-up thinking about her, fall asleep thinking about her, and am interrupted in my regular day thinking about her. If I had to make a conservative estimate, I’d say about 20% of my day — my mental energy for that day — is spent on her.

Some of this is trying to understand what happened, trying to figure out the best steps for being a better me, trying to reflect on what I could have changed to give us the best chance.

However, I’ve noticed myself slipping into mere longing. I’m not just talking about sitting at a party and being whipped out of the moment by seeing her, for a split second, and whispering some ridiculous observation into her ear. Or sitting on the couch, watching some completely boring TV program and seeing her put her head on my shoulder.

I’m talking about that moment when you slowly gain consciousness and clutching pillows and blankets you long for their touch, you replay in your mind some beautiful memory of being with them. I’m talking about waking up holding her.

And then just laying there, swirled in blankets grasping for her mind through a body that isn’t there anymore.

I get the dopamine hit. I feel better living in that memory but that memory is a lie now. She isn’t mine, her touch isn’t mine. Her little squeak in the morning when I move, her hair in my face, or every curve of hers mine to explore. It’s now a lie.

She lies elsewhere, no longer within my reach.

I even woke up recently and in remember one especially amorous morning I found myself turned on. I’m a guy so this probably sounds unsurprising but for me, I almost always take some form of physical stimulation to actually exhibit the excitement. Not many women get me going like she did… and apparently still does.

And yet…

I’m not ready to give her up, I’m not ready to stop the longing, to stop working on what happened, to stop caring about her. I know I’m not ready.

Nor do I hold much faith in those who would say recovery should happen so quickly. Love, in its truest form, comes with so few conditions — it doesn’t require constant reassuring from those eyes and lips, it doesn’t require persistent pretty prose or daring declarations, it doesn’t require that she reaffirm — no, it merely disdains scorn.

She either loved me or not. At one point, according to her, it was yes; at one point her incidental words convinced a peer and friend that she was; at one point, I believed she might… she might care very deeply.

This entanglement of two hearts is different than the one-sided admiration of a crush, of adoration and unshared love. When two come together in this way, I count it different. Even if they are torn apart… it’s different.

I can remember those close confidants who I secretly coveted but they are separate from those who dared to return the affection. Those who let me kiss them, those who desired my kiss, my attention, my heart.

I long for her. Her voice, her rounded face, her mind (oh, god, her mind), her breasts, her smooth, sweet lips, her neck, and her hair flowing everywhere. I long for her laughter, her gasping for air in delight at some absurdity while exclaiming, “Oh. My. God. That’s amazing!”

I long for her courage, her bravery, her vulnerability, her caring, her careful consideration, her very sharp tongue, her strength, her willingness to listen, and her willingness to live so comfortably in the silence.

I long for her more than I can express in words.

I long for her in the way that has shot tears to my eyes in recent weeks so much more swiftly than usual when I’ve been confronted with the pain of others, when I see their true emotions, even their laughter… or just the true concern of, “are you okay?”

Yesterday one of my dearest friends lost her father-in-law. Her husband is hurting tremendously but I know, also, that she’s in pain. She was very fond of him, appreciated his support and caring.

This same friend, last week, berated me viciously for wasting my life… she was angry that she was spending so much time trying to help me, working over the same damn problems, and I was working on … the mundane.

As she explained, “You are someone who I truly believe can change the world.” No pressure…. unfortunately, every friend I’ve repeated this story to has echoed her same sentiment. What the hell am I doing? Why am I wasting my time?

If I’m ever to deserve this Princess of the Twilight, this woman who fills my soul more than I could ever imagine it could contain, I know they’re right. I know I must summon that same courage she exhibited so often. I must dare to be vulnerable, I must dare to share more of who I am and what I want.

I know I don’t need her to do all of this. Perhaps it is even better than she isn’t there. Still, holding her hand in mine or hearing her quick wit knock down my pretentious analysis was inspiring.

Early on, closer to when we first met, we couldn’t escape to either of our homes so we found ourselves in a parking lot. The awful orange light glowing brightly over everything and I’d just hold her while sitting on the high edge of the round cement pillar surrounding the light pole.

We didn’t speak much. I just held her. I meant it.

I wish I could hold her for my forever.

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