I can remember the way I looked at you, we were two kids inseparable from the start. We had dreams to grow, goals to share, and a life to build, nothing could tear us apart. It’s been so long, it’s hard to hear your voice. Your laugh though, your laugh is instilled in my memory. When I close my eyes I can feel it all rushing back. Your smile, your touch, your dance moves, the way you lips pressed against mine, they way we held on for so long until one night of sorrow.
I remember getting off work and going to the gym and coming home. I watched you sit at the table distant and alone. Your parents greeted me as I walked in, but you stay cold and never said a word. We celebrated our eight year anniversary just a week prior, so I didn’t think there was much trouble to worry about. You proved me wrong only hours later. John Anderson sings “A woman knows” and it’s one of the many songs that I relate to the most when I think about that night and the weeks to follow.
I’m not sure I ever told you, but after our court date and the judge declared everything final. I got in my truck and was heading to the church and George Strait’s, “Today my world slipped away” came on the radio. If you’re unfamiliar with the song, the first couple verses go like this:
We made it final today.
I gave you all I had, you made your getaway.
All the love we once made turned to memories today.
I left the courtroom and went straight to the church.
I hit my knees and told God how much I hurt.
Nothin’ left of my heart;
It’s gonna be so hard to make a new start.
You know I cried, but I also laughed at the irony. It’s always been important to me to find humor in inappropriate places.
The problems I faced were wanting to feel anger, wanting you to hurt, wanting to want you to suffer, the way I did. The way I fought for sanity and comfort. The way I faced humility and shame. The way I boldly had to retrieve my life again, and the way I had to overcome someone taking my place.
The more I think this is what I want for you, the more I realize it’s not. It’s how I know love was real for me, to love a soul as much as I love my own. The truth is, I’ll always love you, and I’ll always love our memory, but I’ll never be in love with you again.
They say we learn the most about love from people who never really did. This is not to fault you, I require a love that you were incapable of giving to me and I loved you with every ounce that I could – and probably more.
So thank you. Thank you for the good times, the great times, the first times, and most of all, thank you for the bad times – it’s where I truly learned the most about myself.
Kristin L. Cook