Can you believe it has been over a year since we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways? I hope the last year has treated you kindly and with a good amount of blessings and challenges. I also hope you’ve managed to keep yourself out of trouble, but I think we both know how unlikely that is.
You were well aware of how much I had fallen for you in the little time we had together but I struggled until now to find the words to say just how much of an impact you had on my life.
See, you were like this great gust of wind that came rushing into my life at the end of a long, hot Western Australian summer. The moment you arrived to our first date and our eyes met, my heart jumped and I knew things were never going to be the same again.
During the night I was astounded because I was actually doing all the talking. I rattled on about my holiday to Europe six months earlier – all the places I went, the people we met and travelled with, the food we ate and you asked so many questions. You asked me questions. Your eyes were all lit up and you were smiling and you actually showed an interest in what I had to say. Based on my experience, guys like you are rare gems and there was no way in hell I was letting you go.
And yet we were so different from each other, I wasn’t sure how it could possibly work. You were the life of the party, I was the introvert who shied away from having too much attention put on me. You were the one content with spending an entire Sunday afternoon sitting outside with beer and music, I was the boring sensible one who worried about everything and would rush around trying to do a million things at once. You will be pleased to know nothing much has changed and I still rush around trying to do a million things at once but every now and then I do make sure to just take some time to chill out, watch a movie, read a book or even take a nana nap.
You cooked me dinner for our second and final date. You were leaving Perth forever and I wasn’t sad or upset. Just happy that I had gotten to meet such a wonderful guy like you.
Except because you’re Oli you just had to miss your flight out the next day.
Of course I was secretly overjoyed that you’d be staying in Perth for a few more days. But I was scared because I knew that the more time we’d spend together, the more I was going to fall for you.
We’d go out to pubs and you’d twirl me around the dance floor. You tried to teach me how to play pool and you stayed patient no matter how useless I was or how many tantrums I threw because I couldn’t sink a freaking single ball. We’d joke around. We’d drive along in the car and sing and bop along to every song. You’d make fun of the way I’d fumble about trying to pronounce “sauvingnon blanc”. You’d carry my backpack for me as we’d walk around. You’d get angry at the bouncers because you didn’t have ID on you and they wouldn’t let us in and I’d have to pull you away and plant kisses on your lips just to calm you down. It worked too.
You met my friends and my God you charmed the pants off all of them. Long after you left, they would still tell me how much they really liked you. Long after you left, I would still tell them how much I really liked you.
And on our final night as we strolled through the city to get dinner, you suddenly stopped in the middle of the crowded hawker’s market and you just held me without a word. I knew then and there that you had fallen for me just as much as I had fallen for you.
I took you to the airport and just before you were about to leave, you said something that absolutely broke my heart. You told me that one day I’d meet someone so much better than you. Did you realise how much pain you gave me, how that pain just ate away at me for so, so long? Over and over again I’d question why you’d dare to say such a thing. Did you think that little of yourself? Did you think too highly of me? Did you not want to try and make things work between us, no matter the geographical distance? Sure the UK is a long way from Australia but there are plenty of other couples who have made it work.
So why not us?
I guess I was too much of a romantic and you were too much of a realist. Yet another difference between us.
I would wake up each day with this heaviness just gnawing away at me. I’d walk along the street, my fist clenched, wanting so badly to have your hand back in mine again. I wanted so badly to tell you about my surfing lesson, how I finally, if only temporarily, I felt free, I felt alive as the waves washed over me and the surfboard bashed against my body. I wanted so badly to tell you about my new hobby of hunting for street art everywhere I went in tribute of your passion for street art and graffiti.
I tried to write poetry to deal with the pain but I could never find the words. I tried millions of times to write this letter but still the words couldn’t form themselves. Words to say how much I had fallen for you. Words to say how much I missed you. Words to say how much you had changed my life.
And now here I am a year later, looking back and now I know that you were right. I do deserve better than you. Not because you’re a bad person (because you’re absolutely not) but because we were just at completely different stages in our lives and I suspect we still are. I was all settled down with a house and a career and you were still wanting to go off wandering around the world. And as much as I love travelling as much as you do, I’ve realised now that I love coming home even more.
So in the end I want to thank you.
Thank you for coming into my life and shaking me awake. For showing me what love feels like, even if it’s only fleeting. Thank you for helping me awaken the passions and dreams that I thought had died a long time ago.
But Oliver, thank you also for leaving. Because of that, I learnt to find myself and get to know myself again (with some road bumps along the way). I learnt to be brave on my own. I learnt to be more comfortable with myself and to be more adventurous. I also learnt that if I can love someone once, I can certainly love again.
Maybe our paths will cross again. Maybe they won’t. But either way, I am forever grateful that we crossed each other’s paths in this lifetime.
With all my love.
Note: Featured image sourced from Pixabay.