Aug 23

You got off work past 1 am. Obviously insanely tired. He wanted to take you home. I didn't mind. You were texting me. You could have just said nothing till you got home. You were letting me know, and I felt like you confided in me, that you cared how I felt. I was thankful.

Despite the time, despite both of you being exhausted, I'm sure all he looked forward to was those 30 minutes in the cab with you. Away from all the people of the office, away from anyone else, and the world. The weight of the entire day could evaporate in that half hour alone with you. I can't hate him, because I know that feeling.

I remember another cab ride, years ago. Me yearning for your company, your undivided attention. We were just talking, and I was in bliss. Counting down the time till the cab crossed the river and dropped me off at home. Cursing the wide open highway lanes. Were you giving me my book back? Or was I lending it to you then? We were sitting at opposite ends of the back seat, but I turned to you, reached toward you. Said something stupid. Tried holding your hand in mine. I even took it and caressed it for a bit, not knowing what else to do. Even that brief touch made my heart jump, made me feel so vividly alive.

I remember walking to my apartment, book in hand, feeling a little rejected, but not ashamed. Even then, I thought you understood my blunders. Maybe I didn't know my place, maybe you didn't see me in that way (how could you? I felt like a fool), but you were so understanding. I was still happy I shared that ride with you.

And now you're home. It's 2 am. You washed up and texted a sleepy face. I was waiting for your call, but it looks like you're texting me you'll sleep. The thought of you not wanting to hear my voice right away, strangely, that little thought is what bothers me. It should be totally understandable, you must be exhausted. But in that moment, I just needed to hear you, and I wanted to know you needed to hear me too. The reminiscence slips away and reveals knotted insecurity. What did you talk about in that half hour? How do you feel about him? About me? The fear of losing you hits me, and it is fresh and unexpected. My brain refuses to understand that I've already lost you, refuses to accept what you've been telling me for weeks.

There is the unbelievable weekend we shared together, and the hilarious, affectionate texts we sent each other all day. These should be evidence of your feelings for me. That they may not be the untarnished, pure love of the past, but that they are as strong and tender as ever. But what I'm feeling in the moment is that you've shared an intimate moment with him, and are now further away from me. It is a reminder that you are leaving.

I try to bring up the ride home. It seems to be the elephant in the room weighing our phone call down. Maybe you don't want to talk about it, maybe you don't know how to talk about it. Maybe you're wondering if it is even right to talk about it with me at all. Maybe you simply need sleep. You say you thought I didn't like hearing about him.

I wish I didn't have to rely on words. Words that I'm so bad at, words that arouse unwanted emotions and old wounds. If I could just be next to you, hold you while you slept, maybe I could just shut my mouth for a minute. Listen to what you wanted to say, or didn't. Let you fall asleep in my arms, and hear in the way you snuggle up to me, everything I need to hear. I wish from within that silence and closeness we can find our language again, of love and trust and fascination and laughter. I wish I didn't bring this hurt and confusion with every word I spoke.

I tell you I miss you. I miss you the moment I step away from you. When we say goodbye after an unforgettable night, and you tell me you still cannot be with me–even before I've let you go I miss you. The moment I wake up, before I can even form a thought I'm feeling the emptiness of being apart from you. I try to push past it, I look for funny pics to send you, crack utterly stupid sex jokes. I dream about the time we spent together, and I dream of the next time I can see you. I think of the possibility of never seeing you again, of you coming to your senses, of you deciding to treat yourself better, to cut out this tumor for good. And then I remember our night spent together, and it feels impossible that we could ever be apart. It's wave after wave of emotions, battering me in every direction, and the only time I can be grounded again is to hold you in my arms, smell you, feel you, and hear you speak to me. Then everything else subsides and I can stand straight again.

I don't mean to keep you up. I know it's the worst thing I can do, making your ungodly schedule that much worse. There's just so little time to say…anything. I wish I could tell you all of these things. I wish I could say it better, without it coming out like I have a laundry list of arguments. I wish I could show you, without saying a word. I wish I had made it felt to you while we were together. I love you, for everything you are, everything that you mean to me. I never expressed it to you enough, I never appreciated it enough. Just by being with you a lonely midnight Korean cab, a bottle of wine by the river, a seaside restaurant, each becomes the center of the universe. A musty hotel bed becomes divine, angelic and sinful. The gods would lower their eyes. Waking up in a strange room with you in my arms is more home to me than any place I've lived for years.

I love you, I care about you and what you mean to me, and I swear I'll never hurt you out of my own weakness again. I want you to know this.


Your Tree