This moment felt like it was never coming, even though we both knew it was. It was just a faraway dream once upon a time, when I asked you why a nomadic soul like you was so cruel to make me fall in love, knowing that one day you’d just end up leaving.
But here we are, and it’s realer than ever. What do we have? A month? Two? Three, tops? You don’t even really know yet. All we know is that soon you’ll be gone.
You always said you wanted me with you, no matter where you went. You’d play it as cool as possible, throw in some “maybes” and some “if you wants” but we both know that your smile after I played along with your fantasies was often bigger than usual.
Life without you is hard to imagine, and we both know I don’t want things that way. But who am I to stand in the way of your dreams, to say "please, don't leave me"? I’d be blocking the road I helped pave. If there’s anyone who deserves his dreams to come true, it’s you. But life without you? I couldn’t even paint life without you. I’d stand before the canvas for hours, wondering where to begin. I don’t want you thousands of miles away, twelve hours in the past, feeling like an entire lifetime ago. I don’t want to lose you to music, to New York, or to distance.
I imagine life will be like a TV screen split down the middle- me on one end, curled up and lonely in bed, and you on the other, walking through city streets, euphoric. Every joy, every disappointment, every moment of pride will be looking for you. But you won’t be there to find in the crowd, or to hug at the end of the day. You’ll be a person I once knew on the other side of the screen. You’ll be a message that shows up a few times a day. You’ll be an occasional photo that fills me with ache.
And though I know you want me to follow you when I’m ready, the fear cripples me. It tells me that it wont work, that I’ll lose, that nothing good can come from choosing love over my own ambition. And it calls any flicker of hope foolish. I’m paralyzed, lost, trapped in a dark box at the back of a closet, suffocating beneath “what ifs” and “who knows”- the cotton filling up my mouth, impossible to scream.
But what if following your dreams means choosing to be with the one you love? Being lost and confused in New York can’t be worse than being lost and confused right here. I’m twenty-one, with a foggy future, and I know that’s OK. Your presence is the only certainty I want for my future. But I know even that, I can’t have. I want to share every joy, every disappointment, every moment of pride. I want you to be in every crowd, and at the end of every day, but I won’t know until the last sun has set and you’re standing there beside me.
I love you here, I will love you in New York, and I will love you across time and distance and space.
And I will still love you when you are an entire lifetime away.