I Knew Her Well // Ch. 3

I remember about a month or so before The Break Up we found ourselves falling in love with each other all over again. We were experiencing the best span of time in our entire three years and five months of sharing a heart.

I had been battling a life-long depression for the majority of, well, my life. It seeped its way into our relationship, though, and acted as a parasite that thrived off of three components:

  1. I found out my mother, who had been MIA for six or so years, was potentially involved in prostitution.
  2. I continued to gain weight and struggle with self-image after graduating high school.
  3. Me feeling like absolute shit after going through with a liposuction procedure in hopes of me fitting into my favorite medium-sized button up.

I had gotten to a point where I realized how much she really meant to me. I began to understand what she represented in my life: a silver lining I could always come home to. I knew I’d lose her if I let the depression control my life any longer. I was very selfish in our relationship. I decided the best way to save our relationship was to lay all of my pain aside and do everything I knew to swoon her indefinitely. It was too late.

I remember sitting at a donut joint in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She loved the place, and had wanted to go there for a date for quite some time. The date itself was pure bliss, but one moment will linger with me forever. We wanted to shift our focus to God, and to bettering ourselves for each other, so it was my idea that we set some standard boundaries. One of these boundaries was to put a hold on saying (not feeling) “I love you.” Dammit. What I’d do to hear her say that now. We also thought It’d be a good idea to do away with pet names (i.e.: “babe”) for the time being. In my head, it took away the familiarity of what we had come to know as normal. It caused us to speak to each other, rather than just speak to our partner. I don’t know — obviously it didn’t work, I just thought it would be beneficial. I was sitting at a table with a soda while she finished ordering a handful of donuts. The cashier asked if she wanted anything else, and she turned around with a smile and said

“Hey babe — ”

She immediately stumbled over her own words.

“…did..you want anything?”

I just smiled at her. We had set up these silly boundaries that didn’t make any sense, and here she was feeling guilty about calling me babe.

“No thank you,” I said with a grin.

We both laughed it off as she joined me at the table I was sitting at. She apologized and assured me she respected the boundaries and all this — I interrupted her mid-apology and told her not to be sorry. It made me happy. It was fine. I said to her “I care about you. So much.” This was our “I love you” while we worked things out. She put her hand on mine and we just sat there in silence. Just like old times.

“Thank you… This means so much to me. I’ve wanted to go here with you since before we even started talking. I can see God working on you, and it’s showing in the way you’ve loved me these past few days. I care about you, Jordan.”

I just stared at her with a sense of gratefulness. Ever since I told her I loved her for the first time, I had always been deeply in love with her. Now, I was showing her how passionate I was about her. I should have been doing it all along. I should have done it sooner.

I’m sorry.