Yesterday I stood with you in what will likely become your backyard. We held each other underneath a canopy of ancient, swaying trees, a willow sighing beside us.
I laid my head on your shoulder and whispered, "You know I want you to be happy, right?"
But here are all the things I couldn't say:
Do you know how painful it was to walk through that house with you? To hear the echo of your future children bouncing off the walls? The children that won't be ours. I heard them playing in the trees; I saw their shadows flitting against the sunlit lawn. The children I can't give you.
But she can.
The realtor assumed I was her. The woman at the music shop assumed I was your wife. The waiter at lunch did too. Everyone who sees us together assumes we are. How many times in the past few months have I had to explain to people that we're not really together? How do you think that feels? Especially knowing I'm going to wake up in your arms so many times between now and the day we say goodbye?
And I can't stop waking up in your arms. As long as I have the chance, I must. I won't regret it. This I know. And you keep thanking me, telling me how grateful you are for me. I think you're just glad I have the strength to do this, the strength to love you when we both know it doesn't matter. But we both know you need me way more than you're willing to admit. I've been your rock. I've been your anchor. Not the other way around.
I have spent the last two and a half years oscillating between the desperate hope that you'll someday envision a future for us, clinging to the precious time we have left, and learning to accept the fact that you will never belong to me. And now, as we both prepare to go our separate ways I wonder what was this? Was this just a tiny blip on the radar of my life or is something going to come of this?
Oh yes, I have the book.
I have the book to show for this.
But I don't know if it's enough to justify this pain.