“It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return, but what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel.” --Anonymous
Some lessons can only be learned through experience and this quote is one of them. Our story probably won’t end up in the “happily ever after” section of any love story collection, but it's enough to make its claim and space.
We couldn’t be more mismatched as a pair. He is cynical and logical, while I’m idealistic and creative. He is in the Air Force and lives in the small town of Del Rio, Texas, where his daily life is regimented and disciplined. I, on the other hand, am a working Interior Design student in Arizona. I relish in the chaos and barely sleep because I am a slave to my craft. He likes stability and controlled situations, which is probably a byproduct of being in the service. Everything that he likes and is, is so different from everything that I like and am. As if being complete opposites wasn’t an uphill battle already, he and I live 800 miles away from each other… 856.86 miles to be precise. To develop feelings for each other was improbable and just plain silly.
But the heart has a mind of its own. The heart wants what it wants.
Daily instant message chats turned into phone calls that turned into video chats…. Until one day, to much hesitation from both of us, we decided to go to California together. I went on vacation with a guy I had never met. Prior to leaving for our vacation, my concern was how long this trip was going to last, but what I didn’t anticipate was that six days was never going to be enough.
In those six days, I managed to fall for someone with whom I never saw coming. I never had a chance. You see, I have spent the last three years focusing on myself and my family. I’ve built a wall higher than the Great Wall of China and no one has managed to get over it, let alone tear it down. All it took was six days, and he managed to find the me that I hid for so long. He didn’t do it with romanticized grandeur gestures. He did it through small acts of kindness that probably would have gone unnoticed by most.
Six days ended and reality sunk in. He and I went back to our respective cities – he in Del Rio, Texas, and me in Mesa, Arizona. I understand now that circumstances and wrong timing sometimes cannot be overcome. He will be going off to Indiana to attend school and I will be going off to pursue my design career elsewhere. We have exciting things ahead of us, and even though I wish those exciting things were headed in the same direction, I am still so happy for the both of us. He taught me to care deeply for someone without asking anything in return. I don’t know if he ever fell for me as deeply as I did since he is a man of very few words, but that is irrelevant in my book. I learned to be open and giving and to share the part of me that I suppressed. Truth be told, I miss our friendship the most. And as much as I loved holding his hand or good morning kisses, it's the way he could make me smile when I'm reminded of an inside joke that still lingers. I wish him nothing but the best in love and in life. He is deserving of it. I can only hope that I brought him just as much light and care into his world as he has with mine, and that he wishes the same great things for me as I do for him.
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