To my first love

To my first love

To my first love

It has been 5 years since you ended things. There was a point where I couldn’t possibly imagine a future where we were not together, I thought that despite everything we would somehow find each other again years down the line and pick up where we left off. I would recite how many days, weeks, months since you left and would think of you at least once a day. More often than not you occupied my thoughts every other second. Just when I felt like I was finally coming up for air again after drowning in emptiness for so long, I would be dragged back down at the most unexpected of times. It has taken me years to finally put us into perspective and to realise that even if you did come back I wouldn’t accept it. Would I?

Everything feels like a fever dream. Like I have made you up and the memories are just a figment of my imagination. Every day I seem to forget about the details more and memories all seem to merge into one. We were young, and stupid and I know you told me that it wasn’t true love but for me it was. I loved you different to how I have ever loved anything before and that is not to say that love is the strongest because I didn’t love you with my entirety. But I loved you with all that I could give you at the time. I loved you how I knew how to at the time. I always had a partial wall up with you and I could never fully be myself, I think we loved the idea of a future together but how well did we really know each other? And maybe it was unexpectedly strong since I don’t think I will ever fully be able to put you behind me.

I don’t think of you all the time anymore and now I must force myself to think about you rather than desperately force myself to stop. Maybe this is just an act of self-preservation, a way of stuffing everything down in an attempt to forget you easier. I know in my subconscious that nothing will ever be again. I don’t want it to. But why do I still grieve for something temporary that I never truly had. 

I say all this but every time I think about you too deeply, I get this gut feeling in my stomach. I have it now whilst I write this. I got the same feeling when I found out about you and someone else, it feels so raw and yet it was so long ago. Don’t get me wrong it is not a whole-body crippling level like that anymore, but I can’t deny that there is still something there. It does make me wonder whether this tiny part of you inside me will be there forever. I know people say that things heal with time, but after 5 and a half years I am not very optimistic that anything will change now. I can’t help but think if you think of me sometimes too- you appeared to get over us in a heartbeat, but you have always been so good at hiding your emotions and choking everything down.

I do wish you all the best and I want you to be happy despite everything, but I am dreading the day that you get into something serious with someone else. You might have already done so for all I know- after all you have always been a very private person on social media. I have always liked to be in control and to know all the minute details to every scenario, but I don’t think I want to know this. I don’t want you but it will hurt to know that you want someone other than me. It is ridiculous because I am with someone else and am incredibly happy with him but I can’t shake the feeling of you having a future with someone else after that is what I dreamt about for so long.

You told me when you broke things off that in a few years we would try again and as much as I hated you implying I should wait for you, I couldn’t help but think whether that would be the worst thing. I was always just a convenience for you, and I don’t know whether its true but I do feel like you left me incase something better came along. You didn’t want to be tied down, I get it, we were young and we were too young to be completely committed but it still hurt. 

If I could go back and do it all over again I would do it so differently. But if I were to do that would we still be together, would that be enough for you to stay? So much has changed since we last had a proper conversation and we are strangers now- I finally accept that. I know I wouldn’t be the same person if things ended differently and I am happy where I am in life and who I am surrounded by but it’s difficult to occasionally think what life would have been like had we both not made the decisions that we did.

I do tend to romanticise the relationship and forget about all of the bad. You had the power to make me feel like the most beautiful person in the world but you also made me cripplingly insecure and I did lose a huge chunk of myself when we were together. I always felt like I needed to change who I was to be good enough, and after I was unrecognisable you told me I was no longer the person you fell in love with. Maybe you just didn’t know what it was that you wanted, I guess I will never know. I always thought that closure would help me understand but I don’t know if that is the case anymore. Too much time has passed and it’s not me that needs the closure anymore, it’s the person I was 5 years ago. The person who cried herself to sleep every night, who couldn’t walk past the places we went together without falling apart. I was nothing when you left, and it has taken me all this time to build myself back up again. I know it’s absolutely ridiculous to let a relationship that we had when we were 16 have such an impact on myself but for that period in my life you were everything to me. 

I loved you. I love you. Maybe I always will. But it’s not the same anymore, everything has changed. We have changed. I need to let go of you for good but I can’t bring myself to do it just yet. Maybe one day the time will come where you will mean nothing to me and I can be fully happy for you moving on with your life. It’s bittersweet really seeing you succeed but knowing that I will never share that with you. That such a huge and pivotal period of your life I will never be a part of. That I will never know the person you are right now. I am proud of you. I am. No matter where you are, what you are doing or who you are with that will never change. 

I saw this quote that resided with me. ‘Just because we didn’t end up on the same wave, doesn’t mean we aren’t still part of the same ocean’. I don’t think we were ever on the same wave. We never agreed on anything, we wanted totally different things and yet those unpredictable and perhaps treacherous waves of our relationship didn’t seem too unreasonable. We were unconventional but for some reason now that we have grown, I feel our waves wouldn’t clash quite so much. Where we were previous on two opposite ends of the spectrum, we now may be able to meet in the middle. This is complete speculation as I really don’t know you at all, but it’s just this gut feeling.

I don’t know whether you are doing some voodoo crap because I can feel you in the pit of my stomach a lot recently- it has been years since I have felt like this, and it is unsettling. You are out there, somewhere hundreds of miles away. I don’t know how to explain it, but you feel both a million miles away and so close at the same time- like a small part of you is always with me. You must look at my social media and see me with other people and assume that I have forgotten all about your existence, but I could never. 
I made you a promise a long time ago that I would always love you and that still rings true. 

I may not have kept all my promises to you and I haven’t always been the most truthful but that is one of the few promises I have ever made that I know will never be broken. You don’t know it but I will always love you from a distance. I don’t need to be in your life to do that. You have memories that span half a decade that I know nothing about but in every memory I loved you and in every memory that you have yet to make I will still love you. The first taste of love is eternal and something that can never be lost. Time doesn’t heal in the way I expected it to. I expected one day to just not love you anymore but I’ve since realised that isn’t the case. The love, the heartbreak just isn’t all consuming anymore, instead its just on a back burner. Always there but on a dull resonance. Enough to feel but not enough to break.

1 Comment

  1. wonder 1 year ago

    This. This resonates with me completely. I know you likely didn’t write this for anyone else except for that person but it so beautifully captures how I feel as well. I don’t feel alone anymore. I fell in love with someone for the first time at age 12 and we dated all the way until we were 17. While it has only been 9 months and I still break apart often and the dress I wore to our first date still sits untouched in my closet, I completely resonate with your feelings. I will love this person always but the heartbreak continues to become duller and duller. This makes me feel seen and validated as someone who has been told over and over again that it was “just a break up” and that I’ll get over it soon. Not to mention, with how young I am, I constantly feel too immature to properly proclaim that I could love this person forever. But the truth is that time could never heal this ache over smoothly. To quote a song I wrote 3 months into the heartbreak that still rings true:

    “The wound stops bleeding, the cuts start healing,
    And all that’ll be left are scars of regrets for the
    Years of loving, weeks of waiting, hours of bliss and
    Moments of missing your grin and beautiful laugh,
    The way you turned your head to see me smile.”

    Thank you for sharing your letter.

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