The Last First Love Letter I Want to Write

I’m a quiet girl, visually unassuming too. I’m the girl who lacks color, excitement. The gray blanket you leave on the ground. You put my petals back on the stem, helped me become a flower. You pulled me from the sidelines, from grayness. Suddenly I’m filled with color, and all of them remind me of you.

Stories and love letters have made up the chapters of my life. Different men brought different colors, none of them ever lasted though. The colors faded and I was left a leafless-tree in winter.

But you’re autumn. You’re the widest array of brilliant colors I could ever be. You’re the last chapter, and to you the letters I’ll write will be my last. I could never love again as much as I love you.

I’m a quiet girl, who says too little and thinks too much. I write pretty things, and say what I mean there. But I’m at a loss of words for you.

In truth, it’s their abundance that makes it impossible to give any of them to you. There are so many words trying to scramble their way into sentences to come from my mouth that I can’t manage to get any of them out, and you’re left with shortened answers, and oftentimes, absolute nonsense comes from my lips. Instead of telling you how in love I am with you, silliness ensues or I ignore the intimate whisper and move along with my day. There are so many ways I could tell you, but none of them come at the right time. There’s never a right time.

I was scared of getting caught up in you, in anything that was you. I was so scared of getting intertwined with you that I wouldn’t know where my pieces left off and where yours began that I was pleasantly surprised by the simple braid we’d created months later. It wasn’t a frazzled mess. It wasn’t something chaotic, laced together around the seams with a single shoelace to keep the fraying at bay. Gently woven together, our pieces came together in a way so many others have done. So maybe the braid looks like the ones everyone else makes or can make, but it’s the first time I’ve ever been so gently guided toward something that I haven’t come apart.

I don’t know how to explain the who, what, when, where and why of how scared I was. I guess everyone is scared, right? We’re all afraid to give parts of ourselves away to someone else, worried about whether or not our gifts will be reciprocated. Whether or not we’ll be turned away, forced to wait outside closed doors for someone who might never open the door. We stand there and wait, flowers in hand… but no one opens the door, smiles and welcomes us in. To make matters worse, it’s usually raining by that time. So now we’re standing in the rain, alone, with soggy flowers whose petals fall to the ground. We’re scared to climb the steps and knock on someone’s door all over again when the chance comes that usually, we pass it by and turn around and go home.

But you?

I didn’t wait outside in the rain. I might have stood on the steps for a moment or two, but with no chance to debate turning around because you were there in an instant. I’d be kidding myself if I said I stood a chance against the way you smiled, the way you pulled me in and didn’t accept anything less than that. And here I am lying in bed, wearing your t-shirt because you’ve already left for work, and it smells like you, and I want nothing more than you to be back here with me.

You’re all I want.

I want all of you entirely, completely, unforgivingly. I want all of you. Lying in bed, waiting to hear from you that one night, and all you did was apologize on repeat when you called. I couldn’t believe the conclusions you might have jumped to. You understood if I wanted to stop talking to you. Like a weight on paper that might catch the breeze, I wanted to step on those words and stop you from saying it again. What kind of person would I be? You deserved the support and whatever else I could give you in those moments even though I didn’t have much to tell you, save for a handful of sleep-laced words to try and convince you I wasn’t upset. That I wasn’t upset with you, I was upset for you because of circumstances that echo “wrong place, wrong time” more than anything else. I want all of you, even when you’re not sure.

I want all of you.

I’ve never so completely wanted something. I want more “you’ve been there” and I want countless “we did this” whens. This is the point where I say I love the idea of a rocking chair and a wrap around porch and years of adventure, but I don’t want to waste whatever time I have now, and so instead I’ll say I love the moments with you at night on the porch with nothing but wind and crickets choir in the background. I’m finding my happiness is built on more than wishing for an expanse of adventures and memories because every time I see you, there’s something new. There’s something more. And I couldn’t ask for anything more than that, because those are the things more comes from. I want to be tired with you, I want to be sore, I want to be breathless, and I want to be sleepless because I don’t want to miss anything with you.

I’m okay with admitting that, but that’s all you get for now. Just know that I’m on the edge of my seat, waiting for you to sweep me off my feet (like you so regularly do) off to somewhere, to something that’ll quickly become another one of my favorite memories.

There are all kinds of stories and movies and things that tell girls what they should believe in and how romance is a fairytale, and if it isn’t? Then the romance isn’t real, and nothing can measure up. We’re encouraged to do all kinds of things to be prim and proper and finessed, so we’re a conglomerate of the products we put on our face. Sometimes the facial art project is fun, because we see a little bit of the princess these fairytales tell us we could be. My reality is much better than a fairytale though. I’ve seen my reflection in hundreds of different lights and it’s generally not a peaceful perspective. Until you run your fingers over my shoulders and kiss my neck and tell me I’m beautiful and gently coerce me to ignore myself like I should. If that isn’t a knight in shining armor, then I don’t know what a fairytale is. Because I can believe you, and that in itself is something out of a story book.

I don’t want to tell you I think every day is going to be easy and that everything is going to be smooth. I don’t think life works that way… But I do believe that you encourage me to be a better person and because of that, I don’t mind that things won’t always be easy. There have already been wrinkles in time and cracks in pavement in front of both of us, and I don’t think either one of us has backed down from them for fear of lack of support. Just know this: I would walk the rest of the road with you, cobble stones or cracked pavement or dirt. It doesn’t bother me, and it doesn’t worry me.

There are so many things I want to tell you, so many different ways. I want to tell you how much I love the way you smile when I’ve done something that you want to laugh at, but you don’t because you don’t want to offend me. I want to tell you that I’m never more calm than when you’re beside me and taking my hand. I want to tell you how nothing else matters once you’re there. Just you. The rest of the world falls away like we’re standing in a room by ourselves and we might as well be sometimes. I want to tell you I love you seven ways until Sunday, but sometimes, in spite of myself, it slips out in little ways like “I made you dinner” and “your laundry is done.” Maybe that doesn’t sound like I love you in so many syllables, but it means the same. Just like the first time I told you to drive safe — it means the same thing.

I’m at a loss for words for you because I have so much I want to say. Even when the words don’t come out, though, somehow it’s okay.

I could never love again, so much as I love you. And believe me, you’re in my dreams too.

Signed, and sealed with a kiss.

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