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The Idea of Love

“Did you even love me?” He asked, his face showing every bit of vulnerability he was feeling. My next words could make or break him. But he had to know that before asking that question.

I swallowed a bit of saliva, preparing myself to speak.

Essentially, I was preparing myself to either make or break him. “No,” I spoke, the words clinging to the air. “I was in love with the idea of loving you. I did not realize this until recently that every day I would wake up and convince myself that I love you. It was like I had a checklist of things you did for me. Each bullet point being such admirable trait you have. You called me beautiful, you are a Christian, you have job, you make me laugh, and so on and so forth. Those are things I love about you. Does it mean that I love you, or that I am in love with you? No. I was in love with the idea of loving you. Unfortunately, that thought and being in love with a person are so easily confused. And I am sorry for that.” My words hit the air like a pin popping a balloon, each word having its own punctuated sound and its own sting. Sure enough, my words broke him.
He did not say anything, he look straight ahead at me, but he seemed to be looking through me. Then he blinked, much like when a doctor tells a patient “If you can hear me, blink.”

So I continued talking.

“Danny, I am so sorry. I am sorry that you had to be a victim of my tornado of emotions. I am sorry that you had to be caught up in my storm. I am sorry that I am just such a nervous wreck, such a mess, and that you could not fix me. I know that that is all you wanted to do. I know you wanted to fix me. But you can’t. Hell, I don’t even know if I can fix me.

“And Danny, most of all, I am sorry that I was in love with the thought of being in love with you because I wanted you to be my Trenton. I wanted you to be the next best thing, or just be him somehow. I did not want you for you, I wanted you for the thought that maybe I could love you like I once loved Trenton. For that, I am the most sorry. I am sorry that I wanted you to be someone that you are not. Nobody should want that from a person. Nobody should want you to change for him or her. So I am truly very sorry for that.”

Danny blinked again, and in a voice that was barely audible, he said “okay.”

I gave him a hug, which was brief and a lot like hugging an inanimate object because he did not move. I then simply walked away, because there was nothing else for me to do.



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