A Letter to Those We Once Loved

Young sad and depressed man lying on the sofa
Young sad and depressed man lying on the sofa

Dear one we once loved,

There was a time, wasn't there? There was a time that we shared ourselves with each other. We shared laughter, tears, experiences, traditions. We shared our most intimate secrets with each other. We shared a bed -- but even more importantly we shared wants, needs, desires, dreams, and visions for the future. We were completely exposed to one another -- both physically and emotionally.

Uncensored. Trusting. Fully immersed. Unaware of what the future would bring. Ah, there was a time, wasn't there? A time we created memories.

A time when a person, once a stranger, became our everything. And then, eventually, seemed to somehow become a stranger again. A stranger who will forever leave a space in their shape on our hearts and our minds. One who leaves memories in the way that one leaves a carving on a tree. A carving that someday may have other memories grow over it, making it invisible. But, it will always be there, no matter how deep it becomes buried.

The memories of experiences shared are now silhouettes in the backs of our minds that softly emerge when the right song is heard or the right scent is smelled. Memories that manifest themselves as a gentle smile across our faces, reminiscent of those that we once shared across the room. Smiles we shared when we were different people than we are now. When we were learning from, growing with, and just enjoying each other. Smiles we shared when we had no idea what the future held for us, but didn't care. We were us.

And now you are you, and I am me.

We still don't know what the future will bring. Maybe someday our paths will cross again. Paths that have traveled the world separately and somehow reconvened in line at a coffee shop or passing on the street. Maybe one of us will be married, or have children, or have lived a life of great experiences. A life full of stories to be told.

We will have laughter lines from laughs we did not share together and wrinkles from pains that we did not shield each other from. We will have traditions we have built with someone else and special occasions that were once only arbitrary dates on a calendar. We will have photos on our phones of experiences we did not share.

We will talk, reminisce and part ways again. We will hug, and for a fleeting moment our hearts will recognize each other and beat in unison, if only briefly. We will linger, remembering the times we shared. Then, before fading back into our separate lives and away from each other once more, one last smile of understanding and shared memories.

We will fade from each other's lives but burn brighter in the ones we have created for ourselves with the one we now love. The one who taught us that it was okay to move on. The one who taught us that we could love again.

We will have new smiles. Separate smiles built by separate memories. Smiles full of love and family and the person who has accepted us fully, as we have accepted them.

Smiles of contentment that reflect the silent comfort that we have found happiness when, at one time, we did not think it was possible without each other. Smiles that understand that this is the way things were meant to be.

It always was.

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