I do love you.

Allow me to start by saying the journey to find you was not an easy one, in fact it took losing myself and finding myself again. Of course I can’t start this story by going back to day one of my life but, I can start by discussing the unadulterated euphoria brought on by misguided ennuied one sided, “love.” Allow me to take you back to the winter of last year. The days were dark and my future was uncertain, I was intertwined in a circle that I had no business being apart of .

In the middle of December right as the days turned into double digits I awoke to a dark hotel room, dawned on a pair of black knee high socks, an over sized sweater, and I tugged at the blinds so the light couldn’t let in. No worry of making the bed or even showering, I took the long lonely walk and dropped my key on the front desk leaving behind whatever self remorse I had.

I had began an unhealthy obsession with caring more about my job, my family and my boyfriend (at the time) and his woes. I stopped caring about myself in the most fragile and necessary way possible- I allowed my life to be taken over by the “hustle” and “grind” and I felt myself slip away.

I am a firm believer in tracking my own mental psychosis, ensuring and being conscience of the wellbeing of my mind, body, soul, ego and everything else that keeps me in tuned to this world. On days that I don’t spend time being cognoscente of who I am and what I’m doing in this big old world, is another day the darkness sinks in.

There I was, December passed and I was crossing single digit Januaries off of my calendar reminiscing of the days that I was a care free kid and the whole world didn’t seem like it was crumbling at my feet. I spent every night away from my bed on purpose and every morning avoiding taking a shower. I couldn’t stomach the idea of sleeping alone and I was even worse at showering alone. I couldn’t allow myself to be vulnerable. I spent all of my time running away from my problems and there were no signs of me stopping.

Until the fifteenth of February.

I woke up that morning, grabbed breakfast and coffee and crawled into my best friends bed. My friend of which I went one year without seeing. I lay there in her bed, the both of us swapping stories through our tongues over our adventures and books we’ve been reading; broken writers living broken lives discussing broken writers who write broken poetry.

The idea of attending an open mic night later that evening had sooner than later became a plan and up until we left I slept. I was still heavy into my deep dark depression and spent most all of my time sleeping. I awoke to my best friend who looked beautiful and I was wearing a flannel under a crew neck with skinny jeans and vans and my hair was a mess.

We took the decent timely drive out to the city and you, YOU were the first thing I noticed. You and your sarcasm and your darker than dark hair and the only thing that tasted better than my vanilla and lavender latte was the future I had planned for us in my mind. I still remember you mocking an artist who was rapping about the positive use of addictive drugs and after I erupted into a cacophony of laughter I looked over my shoulder and told my best friend,

“That’s the man I’m going to marry.”

But this story isn’t about you, really. It isn’t you that I loved. It was you who broke me and taught me how to love myself. It took me a good two weeks before I approached you and before I knew it I had driven an hour to sit in your white Chrysler 300 series discussing Camus, Kierkegaard, and Van Gogh’s theories on human existence. I remember the first time you reached for my hand, you were trying to keep me from rubbing my chest. That’s when I realized you were studying me. You watched and every time you said something that made me feel more than worthless I would rub my chest in little circles acknowledging or trying to warm up my heart.

As the night advanced we made it to your bedroom which was surprisingly clean; were you expecting me? We spent the next nine hours talking and singing and I unfolded my life to you like a finely pressed t-shirt once forgotten about but finally ready to put on for the day. We eventually made our way to naked euphoria exchanging breaths for unrequited pleasure. After which I stood on your bed, my naked body pressing up against your rental walls and you took a polaroid of me. To this day I still haven’t seen it. I hope when you develop it you hate yourself.

That night led into about ninety nights spent in your arms. I still remember most nights distinctively, I remember the night we were tied together tighter than a palomar knot. You brushed my hair out of my face with your ice cold skeletal fingers and whispered,

“I’m not going anywhere. I promise. I’m not like the others.”

Well, you aren’t here now are you? I gave you everything I had because you led me to believe that I could. You made me feel safe, and you knew it too. Every night before bed you’d wrap me up in your arms and ask,

“Do you feel safe, sweetie?”

I did. I told you I did. You made me vulnerable again. I peeled all of the shell I spent years building up and you manipulated me until you had me right where you wanted me. I hate you for that. You have led me to believe two things: either you never wanted to be with me and you just kept using me or, you were afraid of actually feeling something. Everyday that I wake up I find it even harder to believe that you didn’t love me, you can’t tell me through shared cups of coffee in the shower on Saturday mornings, slipping back into clean linen, and smoking cigarettes all day exchanging conversation for small burst of singing- you can’t tell me you didn’t fall for me.

I felt it too.

But it’s gone now. Eventually you left. I got busy with my life and you would only contact me when you needed something while I spent all of my time trying to show you that I cared until I gave up. Spending three days prepping dinner for you because you had a rough week, only to be cancelled on. Taking three hours to get ready because you told me you wanted to take me out on a date, only to be told to go home because you have school work to do and I’m just a distraction. You never made me feel special, only purposeful when I could do something for you. I spent my birthday making you dinner and holding you when your body was much more alcohol than it was blood. Spoon feeding you pain killers while pressing a hot towel to your head.

I thank you for breaking me. For teaching me that the only person I need to put on a pedestal is myself. After you left me I was alone and little did I know that’s exactly where I needed to be. I had to start getting to know myself again. Being comfortable with allowing myself to be vulnerable on my own- with no protection, no shell, no brick and mortar. I had to start keeping my room clean, showering alone, doing my laundry, drinking coffee on my own, driving alone, and sleeping alone. I had to speak up and tell my boss I couldn’t work an extra twelve hours. I had to find out who I was, what my limits where, who I wanted to be, and who I wanted in my life.

That’s when I met him.

Every time I venture out onto the dating scene my closest friends remind me that I’ll only find love when I stop searching for it. The same arbitrary wording everyone throws out because in all honesty, they haven’t found love yet either. Whether it took searching, waiting, or begging I am glad to have found you. I remember you waltzing down your apartment walk way as you met me on the black top the evening of

June twenty-second.

I remember the way we sat on your bed talking and how excited you looked. My only plan was to drive out to your place so I had a pair of arms to hold me through the night. You crossed your feet in front of me and we talked for awhile before we made it under the covers. Since then I haven’t left and I haven’t stopped falling in love with you.

The second I felt myself let go and fall for you I was all on board, and you knew it. I can’t recall how many times I had to hold myself back from saying, I love you. I can’t describe the feeling I have when I look into your eyes. You are everything I have wanted and in no way are you what I deserve. I have never done anything so right in my life to have met you now and to begin loving you from that first day until my last breath.

I have spent many of my years feeling not so much hate, but the lack of love as apposed to feeling loved. Early onset absent parents mixed with bad choices in boyfriends but I learned more about how to be part of a team, how to love someone, and how to be the other half of someone’s life. I have only ever wanted one thing in my life and that was to find the man I’m supposed to marry and I craved to love him as soon as possible.

When I am in love I worship my man at his feet. I will worship every step he takes, he will never go hungry, or poor. Never will he have to believe that I do not love him, that he is not worshiped, or that he is a blessing in my life. I am more than grateful to have found my person, my lobster, the love of my life, and the man of my dreams.

There is hope but never is there hope alone. First was the breaking, then the building, and then the falling and rebuilding but I am not rebuilding alone. I am happy, and having found my other half I am proud to announce that I am whole.

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