I used to think that love was supposed to be painful. The insecurity, the jealousy, the nervousness, the heartbreak—all of that was just part of the package. Love is supposed to be messy, right? Everyone is always talking about how messy love is; they romanticize, glamourize, glorify the utter chaos of love. So when a boy left me crying on the other end of the line, 3, 000 miles away—hating him, hating myself— I thought that that was just a part of love.

This, what we have right now, it’s not messy. I mean, our beginning—that was a bit messy. First tentative handshake and first shy handholding less than 24 hours apart—we took a leap of faith into one another’s lives that June night. I didn’t know your middle name, didn’t know your favorite color, your birthplace, your fears, your quirks, your deepest desires—but you had goodness in your eyes and sincerity in your voice and strength in your walk. I liked the way that you said my name. Like it was the title of your favorite book.

It was fast, so fast. But it never felt too fast.

In fact, it felt so very right somehow. Unexpected, but not accidental.  From first smile, I had the unshakable feeling that we were supposed to happen. Our energies blended together, my yellow and your blue coming together to make a nice, calm, natural green. We, together, are not messy. There’s a sort of steadiness about us. Balance. We fell in[to] love, but we aren’t falling all of the time. That’s how I used to feel, like the falling never really stopped, and I knew that eventually I would hit the bottom—that there was a bottom. But I don’t feel like there’s a bottom to us. Instead, we float through an ever-flowing forward motion.

Every now and then I do worry about the bottom. I don’t feel it, but I think it. I wonder it. I wonder if there is a bottom, some dark, deep end that I—we—will fall into.

This feeling reminds me of this one time, when I was eight or so; I went to a water park with my summer camp. Hurricane Harbor, I believe. And there was this pool shaped like a ring—a moving pool, in which the water pushed you around on its own, pulling you into its flow. But I didn’t know how to swim at the time, so I tried holding onto the walls, tried to make sure that I stayed above water. I was so worried about drowning that I didn’t allow myself to move with the flow.

I don’t want that to happen here, not with you.

I wish that my trust were something tangible, something that I could press into your palm, fold your fingers over to protect, to keep. I want to show you—I want you to see me lift my hands from the wall, completely, to see me glide through the water, with you.

Until then, I give you these words—and all that they mean, to me and to you. To protect. To keep.

Post submitted by JoAnna 


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