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someone showed me a picture of you recently and you looked.         so happy.

and the gorgeous and lithe and so-obviously-cool woman next to you looked.              so happy.

and together, the two of you, looked well and good and right.
the way her head turned in to your shoulder. the way your arm snaked round her waist.

it was a sad sort of thing. me seeing this picture. me knowing that i never got that--you could never give me that. because whatever it was we shared was broken and fractured and kept hidden away from the very start.

i had a dream several months back, about jared, who we've been without for six impossible years now. and even as it was happening i knew it was more than a dream. because i got to see him and laugh with him and touch his smiling face. and the two of us had a grand time in this half-dream of mine. he seemed so exactly like himself and we spoke and laughed and talked on the last six years and then we went to a party. and you were there. and this woman was there. and she made you smile. and i turned to jared and i said, it's time to leave now. i'm gonna go. i'm not the one who makes him happy. 

and do you know what happened? he told me i couldn't go. because ours was the story that needed to be told.

it all seems so ridiculous now. it seemed ridiculous then, too.
but also very real.

and i woke up from the half-dream filled with peace because jared was always just love and so i messaged his mother to tell her that i'd felt i'd seen him and he was so very good and she responded saying that that very day would have been his twenty-seventh birthday.

thing is, days later, i was so angry. because i was walking away from you. because i was leaving. i was leaving the party in some large and cosmic and tremendously important way and he stopped me.

in looking at the photo of the two of you i think, my God--i'm not in love with this man anymore, i'll never again be in love with this man. i did leave the party. i just didn't know it.

i thought i'd carry my love for you forever. i thought it was a forever sort of thing. i'd resolved myself to that. i didn't think it'd stop me from loving others, i just thought it would live in me, mostly silent, mostly private. and so the loss of that love--well, there is a death in that. and a sadness to that death. but a birth, too.

the opposite of love is not hate. it's just the absence of it. the vacuum where it once was.

a few years ago when my adult and on-the-mend self lay next to your adult and deeply-wounded self i thought it was just that the nineteen-year-old in me was in love with the twenty-five-year-old in you. i convinced myself that it wasn't love then, it was a refraction of it. but it was. i was in love with you then as i had been all the years before.

i once told tom i had no doubt i'd one day tell you. it was just a matter of time and courage and those two things meeting and we'd not gotten there yet. and he said that just as important as the three words was to tell you that i'd been so afraid--that the fear was such a huge and vital part of the story and that you probably didn't know that. but how could you not know? and for one glimmering moment i understood--the subtraction between what i knew and what you experienced--the space between what the female mind knows and the male mind can't fathom.

but here i am, smiling from the shores of having-moved-on and it's so good. getting over you was the second hardest thing i ever did. the second best thing, too.

i won't tell you now. i won't ever tell you. because it was for me. if those three words needed to be said it was for me and i just don't need them anymore.

maybe jared was right though, maybe it is the story of you i need to tell--or the story of the last several years. maybe that's my second-beating-heart (as sugar would put it)--not you, but the story of you.

there's no love for you left. just the knowledge of those deep, unfathomable well-springs of which i am made. and for that i won't give you three words, but two:

thank you.


Nicole said...

wow. my heart is nearly bursting right now. thank you for sharing, and once again putting words to things I've never been able to.

Eric said...

There's such a gorgeous melancholy note to what you write, and it's so poignant and personal that even though I don't really know what's going on, or who the people are involved, I don't care about that. I care about the experience I get in this exact moment. Really lovely. Thank you.

Chicago girl moves on said...

Stunning. Your honesty makes me want to be a more vulnerable writer. Thank you for that.


Comin Home Soon said...

the opposite of love is not hate. it is the absence of it.

absolutely true.

Louise xo

Keiko said...

i yearn for the day my heart can feel these words. that i can finally let go of this love i hold on to.

your words have given me hope, i too will heal.

VIC said...


Diana said...

"i thought i'd carry my love for you forever. i thought it was a forever sort of thing. i'd resolved myself to that. i didn't think it'd stop me from loving others, i just thought it would live in me, mostly silent, mostly private. and so the loss of that love--well, there is a death in that. and a sadness to that death. but a birth, too."

My God, this is brilliant. This post stirred something in me and I don't even know how to put it into words, but it left me in tears.

I hope you realize what a gift you have for relating to people and expressing things so poetically--that when you write, your words bring hope and resolve and inspiration to people.

Thank you for that, for just writing to express yourself. It's only because you're honest with yourself that you can affect others. And I'm so grateful for that.

Anonymous said...

Nothing I say can express how much I loved this. Needed this.

Shawnee said...

ohhh this is so good. "maybe it was the story of you i need to tell--or the story of the last several years..not you, but the story of you" and that last paragraph. YES. exactly how i feel about an old someone. thank you. you are brilliant, meg.

Anonymous said...

this made me cry. i look at your blog most days and this one was so beautiful x

look a little closer said...

wow. that's all. wow.

Magdalena said...

Wow, I have no words. Wow!

Toni Lehman said...

It is almost haunting how closely I relate to this story. My first love got married this last weekend. I love the line about the absence of love being the absence of it, the vacuum that takes its place. I also love the part about getting over him being the hardest and best thing. So true!!!

Krys72599 said...

You have such a gift, the way you put feelings into words.
Thank you.
If only you could write out my feelings for me...

Laura said...

ahh you write so freakin beautifully. i relate so much.
im glad you've found the light at the end of this tunnel :)


Francesca Forzoni said...

Meg - that was truly truly stunning x

katilda said...

I don't even have words for this. You just wrote down the exact feelings I was experiencing two days ago when I ran into my own version of this guy you are describing. He's married, too. And I knew I didn't love him anymore but it was this whole nostalgic/unfathomable experience and flood of remembering that I thought I would never feel that way. That it would always be there, at least a little bit. I felt like it set me free and put a clamp around my chest and throat all at once. Thanks for the perfect words.

the gracious gaze said...

Oh, gosh. I feel tears welling up.

Jennie La said...

How you string your words and meaning together! Oh. Wow. Tears. I have fragments in this story that are my story too. Thanks lady!

Dana said...

Your words help me understand my own feelings and thoughts. And it's comforting to know that others mourn their losses, that you aren't an oddity because you want to hold on to them.

Anonymous said...

your description of the evolution of love and the mourning of the loss of love for someone you thought would last forever is written so tragically beautiful. your words describe my own sentiments of coping with the loss of a love that i no longer yearn for. i'd love to read more on your exploration of sorting through these feelings and coping with such loss.

J said...

I have never come across a writer who I have immediately fallen in love with, their writing that is.. Your writing is beyond beautiful and eloquent. I can't stop reading. You are exceptional and one of a kind.

This post gave me shivers, for more than just your writing. I had a best friend through out high school. We were nerdy, in orchestra and all the rest, and we loved each other. She passed away the year after high school, on her way back to college in a car accident. Last summer I had such a vivid dream, she was alive, had a child, we laughed and spent time together. But at the end of it she had to go back, she was dead after all. I woke up and couldn't shake it. I ended up googling her name, I wanted to see what was written about her. And I realized then, that the day was the tenth anniversary of her death. Strange. All that just to say that I think our connection with the people in our lives is beyond what we imagine. Our limits are beyond.