Orbits.

I wanted you to contact me. I wanted us to cave again, even if it meant distance and heartbreak and confusion again. That was better than longing for something I cannot see.

No, it’s not fair, and yes, everything would have to change, but it’d be worth every ounce of trouble for me to have you.

The way I felt about you made me question if I ever loved before. And living beyond my time with you was like watching a shooting star blaze by in the night sky and then watching the void just for a glimpse of something more miraculous to come.

I don’t know how to handle my life without the light you gave me. As my life screams signs pointing to you, I wonder if your life returns arrows in my direction.

I closed this chapter with you. I thought it was over and my lesson learned, but what if your orbit centers near me? What would we do if our star illuminated the world? What if we could see and it was all clear?

Aches.

It was an old ache. An old, rumbling, roaring noise of an ache. The kind of war-wound type of ache you only know exists if you live through the pain and it’s slight recovery from the living hell of your life to the feeling that lingers and acts up when the weather does.

You were that ache. You left me different and there’s no denying it, and I wish you hadn’t, but you did.

Like the thunder of a summer storm, I felt the pain shuttering throughout my body. It started in the cavity of my chest and burned slowly to my throat, to my knees, and out to my extremities.

I watched my body decay to my feelings for you and acknowledged my embarrassment to myself when I admitted it resurfaced. I missed you, and there was nothing I could do to fix this old wound without gashing it wide open.

And that’s where I stand now. Wounded, but living. Living, but aching.

From AG with Love

I’m not sure you care—if you’re even reading this—but I had to put it out there because I feel the last of our cords wearing down. They were once wound so tight together that we couldn’t tell which half was yours or mine. Then we tugged, and pulled, and tore what was only our own until our knot was beat and bent and thin, and slowly, but surely, breaking.

We could never see what bound us, but the last of whatever it was is almost gone, so these are my last words to you—if you even care—if you’re even reading this.

I once wrote to tell you about the handful of things I know for certain. There are only a few—I wrote them all in one list—and then I stated that everything else is an educated guess. The final one was that you are beautiful. I promise that has not changed, in any sense of the word. I hope you feel that way every day.

I once wrote you a letter. I finished five pages around 2:30 in the morning the day after we stopped talking. A very good friend told me to wait on sending it; to see if I still felt as if the words on those pages were ones you needed to read a week later. A week passed and I still felt that way, and yet I couldn’t drop the letter in a postbox.

One month later, I went to a tiny, corner cafe to read the letter, expecting to find myself with different emotions than the ones I had that drove me to write them, but as I sat at this tiny table by the door in this tiny cafe, I felt everything. As if I would find answers why, I glanced around and saw nothing that said anything. A friend met me at this tiny cafe and read the letter. She cried, and I felt like I ruined her morning, so we spent the rest of the day bopping around the city making each other feel better. If anyone, the friends we open up to are the ones who deserve the world and all of its happiness.

I didn’t realize it, but I carried the letter with me for the month after as well. It wasn’t until a week ago when I was frantically searching for my wallet before driving home from someone’s house that I saw it. I froze for a second, taking in the picture as a whole. The girl I’ve been seeing saw me hesitate, and I felt her curiosity just as I reached around once more and miraculously pulled out my wallet. She didn’t know, but you were in that room then, and as we left and closed the door, you didn’t stay there. You came with me this time.

For the past week my closest friends know I’ve been struggling to not think about you. One has encouraged me to cut every tie. So I don’t think this letter is intended to start a dialogue between us. I’m not sure if it’d help either of us, not that you need help. I don’t know much about your life anymore, which is strange to think about, but I imagine you don’t need help.

There were months that I knew your every move, or somehow made them with you. You would FaceTime me on trips to the grocery store before pregames or out on the beach in Santa Monica. You showed me the landmarks in your city and drove me to the special spots you go to think. I loved those times, as we thought maybe one day we’d do them together for real. But that’s all they were—thoughts.

I won’t go into the details you probably remember, just know that I’ve come to appreciate that time for what it was. That what you said was true. That it was real.

I won’t apologize further for how you were hurt in the end. You know I will feel awful, indefinitely, for what happened, but I didn’t intentionally do anything to harm you. Maybe the timing was ironic, and maybe this is cryptic, but I never exaggerated or lied to you or my friends. I have no idea how what happened to you occurred, but the end of us left me shut in the dark with guilt I should never have been burdened with.

My intentions were never less than to make you the happiest person in the world, as that’s how you made me feel. To question that, you must have questioned everything between us, and that is sad because what you said was true. It was real.

I’m not sure if you care—if you’re even reading this—but I had to put this out there because I need you to know I care. I remember so many of the little details and looks and feelings that I question how you don’t—or refrain from allowing yourself to.

No, I’m sorry this post does not exist to start a dialogue. Nor does it exist to make you feel anything less than loved. We never talked about it—love—except for that brief conversation at 3:30 in the morning.

I love everyone in my own kind of way for little things or larger things, and I’m so open about it. But you… You I loved in a way that lingers. A way that makes you appear around Philly, in music, and on drives, especially.

I won’t confess my undying love for you because it’s not there, but I know it could have been. I hope the feeling that sparked us is still out there somewhere—maybe in an alternate universe—but I hope it’s there.

And as for you and me, I guess this is it. You were the greatest glimpse at something I wish to find one day.

Drugs and Love

Why do we subject ourselves to lesser versions of love than the one we deserve?

When I say this, I mean, why do we openly refuse what our gut tells us and instead, accept the lies our heart bleeds out? The question is confusing and comes with endless variables per each person’s situation, but the answer is the same across the board: We need comfort in who we are.

We seek out “a person” to be our go-to—the one we tell everything and anything to—who would never leave us. Humans are social creatures that need our emotions justified outside of our heads and the person you choose to be that “one” often does exactly that for you. In fact, the crave we have in being with our romantic partners can be very similar to using a drug.

Whether you are someone who needs help tying your shoes or knows the best move for every situation, there’s give and take in each of your relationships that often makes you feel like you’ve invested who you are in someone else. That person who compliments your needs and personality has become part of your identity, in the eyes of you, them, and, often, others.

If that relationship becomes threatened internally or externally, one or both partners resort to a defensive mode that can be exhausting or motivating. Whichever style, the way in which both partners react can tell more about a relationship than any moment that happened during times of little to no stress. It is this time that each partner can choose to sacrifice and invest part of themselves to better the situation, or take from the situation, or do nothing.

No response is inherently correct, depending on what caused this defensive mode to trigger, however, I’ve noticed a particularly unhealthy pattern between my friends’ and my own relationships that needs to be addressed.

The negotiation for control can be a huge benefit in a relationship. I know that I can be pretty malleable when it comes to control—preferring to pay for drinks, but being utterly passive about picking a place to patron—and I believe that’s the case for many people. When you’re in a relationship you understand what your significant other enjoys and dislikes in the negotiation for control.

This is an amazing thing humans pick up on, as it can lead to one person inherently stepping up for certain things they enjoy, and backing down for others, leading to the happiness of the unit. However, that knowledge can lead to an abuse of power in the hands of a partner whose intentions are not aligned with the best interest of a relationship.

We date people who know us more in depth than a lot of our friends, even if our relationship is newer than our friendships. It’s important to break down our walls, but we do so at an invite-only vulnerable state that takes quality time to build (I emphasize “quality” because with lesbians these days, that can be days). That invite has no return address, and sadly, sometimes you don’t know the recipient as much as you think you do.

I believe this is why we’re reluctant to take action on our friends’ advice. There’s no way our friends know our partners like we do. We communicate the highs and lows to them, but not all the small things that really built the relationship into what it is. So how can our friends’ suggestions be better moves than what we think?

I once dated someone who never really wanted me, but sought my attention. She knew what words to use to keep me and would give me just enough breadcrumbs to survive, but I was never really satisfied. Despite my friends’ warnings, I stayed because I thought that when I got the whole loaf I’d feast on happiness. That day didn’t come. Due to something unrelated to my dissatisfaction in the relationship I broke up with her—an action I never wanted to take after all of my efforts to make things work. I felt like I lost time and half of my heart, but after a lot of healing I realized that living off of scraps is no way to live at all.

I’ve also been one to know what to say to keep someone around. Without truly bad intentions, I’ve lived through the motions of a relationship that would lead to happy days and okay days. Frankly, I don’t think it was a conscious effort, and my friends knew I wasn’t sincerely happy. I just didn’t want to be alone again, so instead, I said what I knew to say to keep the relationship going. I used the knowledge of who my person was and what she needed to satisfy enough, until it wasn’t enough.

It’s not easy to admit, but I believe we all go through moments like that. They’re messed up, I know. But it wasn’t until after the relationships were over that I realized I was happier; my fear of being alone wasn’t shielded by my relationship at all.

Being single isn’t easy 100% of the time. Like I stated earlier, humans are social creatures who seek out companionship for a reason. We need it, but we don’t need to be stuck where we’re not progressing.

Studies show that relationship breakups lead to the same brain responses of drug addicts going through withdrawal. This is serious stuff, and we know what heartbreak feels like, which is why we don’t want to go through it at any cost. The healing process takes, god knows how much time, and we lose part of the identity that we had with our significant other. Frankly, it sucks, but that is not to say that holding on is an easier method than finding someone who you are generally happier to be with and if your relationship is meant to end it’s going to end at some point.

Life is too short to settle, to fight, and to contemplate how our lives would be different if our relationships were different. I’m not saying all relationships are perfect all the time, they’re not. Some take work—individually and as a couple—but work to change anyone or anyone’s heart about you doesn’t stick for good. So maybe our hearts are trying to prevent us from hurting in the present, but it’s our gut instincts (and our friends) that knows if that effort is even worth it.