Monday, January 19, 2015

The Missing Premise of Love

I remember meeting you on a rainy summer day. I was running with my bag over my head. My mother had told me to bring an umbrella that day when I went out, but I didn't listen and instead I shook my head, laughed, and called the weatherman crazy. In my defense, he really was, and I remember the news of him getting fired over that. Weird, right? You know I always get these oddly accurate psychic stuff whenever it rains.

Which is why I should've known that it wasn't going to be a regular day, because nothing was ever ordinary again when I met you.

I wonder if that's why I fell for you - your laugh that would go on for ages and nobody knew why, your spontaneous urges to go out traveling and I had no choice but to come with, your singing voice that everyone could attest to was the voice of an angel. You were everything and so much more. I got sucked in and became a prisoner to your whims. But I was never tired, and at the time I thought I found the greatest happiness. Because when I was with you everything was good, even me.

I knew you, and you knew me.

And that was why I thought I loved you.

You were wearing a neon yellow sundress that day. I never forgot because that thing was so fucking bright it hurt my eyes. We fought so many times over that. And then after we broke everything in the room, we'd have the best make up sex. Because we both loved that scene from Mr. and Mrs. Smith. And only you knew that that was my favorite movie.

And so I also remember that that was the only day you ever wore that sundress. I wonder, if I didn't hate that thing so much and we didn't fight whenever you thought of wearing it, would we have been better? Could it have evolved to real love?

But you also hated my collared shirt. You told me that the Christmas pattern was weird and it wouldn't suit the occasion - even when there was no occasion at all. That's my favorite shirt though. It was the first thing I ever bought with my salary. But I never told you that. Maybe I should have.

Whenever people asked about our love story, we always said it was love at first sight. But now I wonder if we were just lying. Because when they asked about love, we'd answer with a love story - and now I'm not so sure if it was ours at all.

I remember my first lesson on logic. I worshiped my professor then, because I thought he knew everything about the world - the way he reasoned with people as if it was the most natural thing, and no one could hate him because he made so much sense. Now I understand he only knew the basics well, and he never forgot them. But I did.

He said that if all the facts were correct, but the process of reasoning wrong, then the conclusion would be invalid. But if the reasoning was correct and even just one of the given facts wrong, then the whole argument would be unsound.

And you know what, Jess? I thought for so long our story was the soundest of all. Because for years I couldn't hear anything besides your laughter. And I knew no sound better than the melody of your voice. I thought that was good enough. I really did.

We had all the correct ingredients for a perfect relationship. We both had pretty difficult childhoods that made us stronger and more confident as people. We could both survive alone but chose to be together. We had the good moments and the bad. And we made the choice to go through those together, forever. You said yes. I said I do. And when you were sick I fed you. You were carefree and I was a little uptight. But you followed more rules and I gave more way. Fridays were spent with my friends and Wednesdays with yours. Sundays we both visited our parents.

And it was a perfect three years.

But did you know, we missed something? It was supposed to be the first ingredient of all. It was supposed to be the reason people were together. And we thought we had it, and now none at all. We were missing the premise of love.

I guess I should have seen it coming. After all there were those nights I cancelled dates that we've planned for a while just because I needed some time for myself. But I honestly thought it was just because I needed some alone time - the same way you did.

Should I not have pretended not to know when you did that too? I can't help but remember our second Valentines Day. I used up my salary for the past few months just to rent out the whole theme park. I prepared the balloons and your favorite flowers. I was going to propose to you. But then you cancelled. And I thought it was alright. After all, you said yes when I proposed to you just one week later. So it's all good, right?

Then again maybe I shouldn't have pretended not to know that you met up with a guy that night. Maybe I should have told you how I felt when I saw you two kiss. And maybe I shouldn't have ignored the fact that you saw those other guys behind my back too.

But I didn't care. After all, I loved you, didn't I? Because I knew that when it was just the two of us together, you only saw me. It was alright as long as you didn't think about them in front of me. And of that, I was sure of.

I thought about it from your perspective. I always do, even until now. It must not have been easy to tell your conservative parents about us. Because really, how do you tell your parents that you and a college professor are going out?

You just laughed about it. You said our age gap wasn't that big. Five years wasn't a big deal. I guess you were right. Your parents weren't worried because they thought it was just a phase. The real problem was telling them that you were getting married, and we had to get it done at another state because same-sex marriage wasn't legal in ours.

They didn't come to our wedding, but you shrugged it off and kissed me. And that's when our wedding night began - with forgotten worries and silent tears, of happiness and sadness.

That was when I realized I really loved you. That's when I knew that all those times before, when I whispered to you how much I loved you, I was lying. Because that night I felt my heart would burst, but you held me together so I survived.

I turned a blind eye to the guys you were seeing because I didn't consider them to be affairs. You never saw them more than once, or so I would've liked to think. You were never with another woman besides me. You probably had needs I couldn't fulfill. I repeated that thought in my mind for two years. That was the only thought keeping me sane - that at least you came home to me, and it was me that you hugged whenever you slept.

But I knew you were not the type to separate passion and feelings. I knew you. But I lied to myself, because I had to go on. And I couldn't do that if I had to lose you.

Because I told myself those lies regularly, I started to believe them. I thought everything would go perfectly if I kept on pretending that I didn't know, if I could just preserve that smile.

What I didn't know was that you stopped smiling altogether at some point, but I didn't see. And I believed the curve of your lips that you kept plastered on your face when we were together.

I wonder if he made you smile genuinely? That was the question that haunted me when I met him. He came in our lives like a whirlwind, and the illusion that I tried so hard to protect, he shattered it so easily with those few words.

"She's pregnant."

It was a lazy afternoon and I was watering the plants. He rang the doorbell repeatedly, and I remember cursing him just a few seconds before I opened the door. I probably shouldn't have. Because I never stopped after.

I recognized him, of course. Dave was in the same class you were in. I thought he was your boyfriend then. You laughed about that during our first date, I think.

Do you still laugh about it now?

You were having an affair - a real one - for three months. I didn't know because I made up my mind to trust you - that you wouldn't give your heart away. When you moved out, I finally admitted to myself that he wasn't the first. All those affairs were real.

I begged you to stay. I cried and held your had. Imagine that, shouldn't it have been the other way around? I did it anyway. I told you I'd raise the kid with you. We'd be a family - even if that meant that you still had to see Dave.

That was because I didn't know yet that you had given your heart away already. I thought it was with me. I thought you were confused. Because a love is symbolized by a heart right - a symmetrical figure of two halves touching? You said you loved us both. But Baby, don't you know that a broken heart has two separated halves?

Half a heart can't form a love. Half a heart isn't love at all. Other people say it's possible. But you know I don't believe in that. So I thought that his half would expire, and it would come back to me. But I was lying to myself again.

Because I was right. You only loved one of us. Mine was the expiring half.

And I couldn't understand why. What had I done wrong to have lost your love?

Then I realized, that the expiring half was with me all this time, even before he came along. That's why you tried to keep finding the better half. You wanted a love that was whole, even if that meant splitting it between two people.

You were lying to yourself too, Jess. If it never felt whole in the first place, then there was probably none of it at all.

You knew me and I knew you.

So I think I've always known that you've never loved me that way at all. But I could settle for less, and I did. I made up for all the love that you couldn't give.

And you probably knew that I saw you with all those men, and you couldn't stop anyway.

The thing is, I don't hate you. I don't think I ever will. Because I understand you, Jess. And most of all, I love you. I loved you enough to have signed the divorce papers first. I loved you enough to see your heart break when I gave it to you. It wasn't your heart breaking then though, it was mine reflected in your eyes.

You're still my best friend, Jess. Even if we can't be anymore. I still love you - even more if possible - enough to let you go.

Yours was the missing premise in our love.

And that's alright.

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