The End of Us

My soul mate was turning into my soul maybe and I was scared.

You know those love stories about meeting The One and falling in love at first sight? This is one of those. It didn't work out.

It all started my first year of high school. I was a freshman, he was a senior. He was dark, mysterious, and taken. I was shy, quiet, and curious about him.

He had dark hair and dark eyes that seemed to hold secrets. He kept to himself and carried the scent of cigarettes and guy. He seemed older than everyone else, wiser. In many ways he was the opposite of what I thought I wanted in a man.

I would see him with his girlfriend around school. We would maybe make eye contact, maybe wave, but that was it. I never hoped for anything more. I never thought it was an option.

One day I found out they had broken up. Me and my shy self was secretly thrilled, yet remained silent. My friend knew about my infatuation and teased me endlessly, but I never caved in to the pressure of actually talking to him. I wasn't looking to embarrass myself that thoroughly.

That year we talked ten times, maybe. In the grand scheme of deciphering if someone has feelings for you, I was nowhere near the conclusion that he felt anywhere close to what I felt about him. About a potential us. All I knew is that my intuition told me he was important. I didn't know where that stemmed from or why I was certain I was in love with a complete stranger, but I was. I don't even know when exactly it happened, it was so swift and sneaky.

The year came to a close and he graduated. I was certain I would never see him again. I made no grand gesture, no goodbye with spilling my heart out. Neither did he. We wrote in each other’s year books. I went to the graduation ceremony. That was it.

My sophomore year came quickly. One day, on my way to class, I saw his old, tan truck parked in the school lot. I was ridiculously happy.

We talked, briefly. I went to my next class. He left. I was sad. Over the course of the year something that can only be described as magical, happened. Every so often I would wake up and have this feeling, this he-will-be-here-today feeling. And every time, he was. I was perplexed by this. How could I possibly know such a thing? I didn't care, I just knew that those were the mornings I looked forward to the most.

The year was drawing to an end and I decided that I needed to man up. I would either lose him (again) and spend a summer pining over him (again) or possibly risk never seeing him (again). This could be my last chance. I decided to write him a letter. I put it in my backpack so I would be ready the next time I had The Feeling.

A couple weeks later it came. I was practically tearing my hair out, I was so nervous. I cannot remember the exact events, due to the insane pressure my heart was under, but I believe at some point during the day I gave him the letter and told him to read it when I wasn't around. Then, as any courageous person would do, I left as fast as I could.

He waited for me after school that day. I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I was sure that all of this was a mistake, my confession on paper, and that I might need to move to another state, possibly another planet, just to escape whatever humiliation was to come.

I was wrong.

My blood was pumping so strongly in my ears that I don't remember his exact words, but I do know he said he felt the same way and that he had for a while. I think he took my hand. I think he pulled me in close and held me. I'm not sure. I was about to pass out.

From that moment on we were an item. We were more than I could have dreamed, more than I thought was possible. He was my first boyfriend and I was a nervous wreck. I hid behind a horse (I kid you not) the first time he tried to kiss me. He laughed. I wanted to die. I had done good following my heart, though. He was patient, kind, understanding. He gave me time, respect, and love.

He came back from college every weekend to see me. We had the “I love you – No, I love you more” fights. We planned our future together. We were certain we were soul mates. He asked me to marry him my senior year of high school. I said yes.

When I turned 18 that summer something hit me. Something I was not expecting. He was four years older, ready to get married and start a family, sooner rather than later. I wasn't. I really, really wasn't.

We had also been fighting more lately about nothing at all and that was concerning me. Doubts I had never had before were popping up left and right. My soul mate was turning into my soul maybe and I was scared. He was my one and only all through high school. We were that couple. I had no other life experiences and I was starting realize that was an issue. I needed time to grow up, to figure out who I was.

I was a coward. I tried to tell him we needed to take a break. I didn't even know what I meant by that, I just knew that I had no idea how to break up with the person I thought I would be with forever.

Things went downhill pretty quickly. We worked together, which was becoming a problem, and our friends and coworkers became part of the drama. A new female coworker had just started and for some reason I became suspicious that he might have feelings for her, and vice versa. I also knew the potential collapse of our relationship was my fault, due to my doubts, and I had to figure it out. I just didn’t know how.

By a complete and total accident I ran into a guy I had sort of met a couple years earlier. I say sort of because he and I had never talked. We literally had a moments interaction and there I was, bumping into him the exact same way two years later. Even he remembered me from that two minute moment. I thought it was a sign. Of what, I don't know, but I didn't think I should ignore it. We exchanged numbers and talked one evening on the phone. I told my boyfriend I wanted to hang out with this other guy. He wasn't happy, but I wasn't a liar. A coward, yes. A liar, no.

As soon as I realized I wanted to pursue things with the new guy, I called my boyfriend. That remains one of the hardest phone calls I have ever had to make. I felt horrible. I felt unsure. I felt excited and terrified all at once.

It ended badly with a capital B. He ended up dating the new coworker. I ended up dating the new guy. I got a new job, moved away, and went to college. We tried to remain friends, but it became impossible. Six months after our split I tried calling him to wish him a Happy Thanksgiving. He didn't answer. I cried all night. One morning I woke up and for the first time since the break up, I knew we had done the right thing. I felt it in my spirit. I felt it in my bones.

In the end, he married her and I married the new guy. I don't regret him or us. He was a good man. I'm sure he still is. He was the perfect first boyfriend. Every girls dream, every parents hopes of a nice guy for their daughter. He loved me with everything he had and I loved him the same, until one day when I realized something in me had changed.

I believe things work out the way they should, and they did, but he will always be the one that helped me understand The Feeling. The one that tells you something is meant to be without knowing why or how. It was a lesson I had to learn, and admittedly, am still learning. It's a lesson maybe we all need. That there is a deeper part of us that always knows what our mind cannot grasp and that we should trust that part of ourselves- always. No matter how crazy. No matter what. It will never lead us in the wrong direction.

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