I believed, in full ignorance, that our promises were stronger than my mistakes.It took me twenty-two years to find a woman who I wanted to share my bed with. Maybe thats a lie. Maybe she was the first person to invite me in. Regardless, I spent two of the most substantial years of my life with my hand in hers. I also spent those two years believing that the anniversary cards would only stop when they rested six feet below the engraving. I was comfortable with that understanding, with the only constraints in growing old, being our growing physical distance. We spent seventeen of our twenty-five months on the telephone lines that connect the world. If we had met in the centuries prior, we would have had a similar ending only years in advance. It spoke to me about the honest power love has to overcome reality. I put everything my uneducated heart had into trying to make that girl smile every second she was awake. Looking back now, I see more times spent in anger and disagreement then embraced with the opportunity our youth provided. I took for granted the conversations about how often our tenses would change. I believed, in full ignorance, that our promises were stronger than my mistakes. I refused to believe that the most beautiful girl I had ever met actually wanted to spend her time wrapped up in my arms. Even after years of never missing an opportunity to spend her nights caught up in my conversation, I was paranoid that I would never be good enough. It took my patience by the wrist and put it on the train back home. I fully believe that if I were to have had any other relationship, my fatal flaws would have been figured out years in advance. I miss the elegant curve of her hips and the way her soft lips felt upon my neck. I have not found a way to replace those sensations, I'm not sure if I want to. Sometimes I wish that I could be sitting here in some different skin. On the loneliest of nights, I long to be the kind of person that has the resources and ambition to open up my life to a stranger, simply to fill the void. My heart won't allow for that kind of sin. Instead, I find myself curled up to the loneliness that often leaves me in tears and miles short of the confidence needed to move past this cave. It has been eight or nine months since our third to last phone call, the one that left me shaking with the tears that shattered my heart in a high school auditorium. It feels like it never happened while also feeling like it was just this afternoon. There are days where I forget it ever happened. On those days, it's comfortable to be me. Then there are the minutes, sometimes hours, where I can not figure out how to stop living in the memories we once made our everyday. They engulf my every sensation and make my hands shake with nervous disbelief. I can feel each and every step it took to get from our bedroom to her car on the rainiest of summer mornings to give her a kiss good-bye. I can still smell the most unimaginably awful odor her dog brought into the house after it rolled around with a carrion by the road. The worst is when I can never seem to forget the words she spoke before she hung up the phone. Every memory brings with it a placard with her words, "I can see us getting back together someday." If I could figure out how to cover up those eight words, or even disconnect them as a whole, then maybe I will have a shot at moving on. I reside my advice in friends who have lost their love, only to find it stronger after time apart. In my situation, that is unrealistic. I should listen to those who lost their world, never heard from it again and found a more envious scenery on the other side of the plane. I can no longer describe my feelings towards her, however, I am aware that they exist in some form that my body refuses to reject. I try to sit back, give her the space she demanded and let her live her happier life with her new love. I know she will gaze into his eyes forever, or maybe somebody even better than my first replacement. I want her to have that, I want her to be happy and in love for the rest of her life, because she deserves it. That sounds like a Hollywood cliche from the stereotypical nice guy with a broken heart. So be it, if I love her this much, I must prove it by letting her go. That picture she gave me on my twenty-fourth birthday will always hang on my bedroom wall. The notebook she bought for my twenty-third will always be filled with the words I wrote her, collecting dust in the bottom of her closet. As hard as it is to accept and understand, I realize she did me the most amazing thing possible for me, because she truly loved me. She got closer than anyone has ever dared to step, and she saw the reality of the unhappiness that I had buried beneath layers of avoidance and misinterpretations. She tried for years to pull the truth out of the shadows so that I could figure myself out, but I got lazy within the concept of the future. She had no choice; the only way I would ever be able to find and defeat the demons in my bones, was to get to a place so lonely and desperate that only I could be my savior. My whole world would have collapsed around me at some point if I kept living my life for her, all the whilst, thinking everything was okay. I wasn't even close to okay, and my biggest flaw was the way that I love. It made it easy to ignore the problems I kept buried deep into my pockets. They were always there within reach, but without the ability to see into the darkness, they were just a part of my negative space. I needed to hit rock bottom, and I needed to do it alone. I was a sinking her ship, and I was doing everything possible to pull her down with me, and to me, our reality was just a dream. I don't know how some of these days turn from tomorrow into yesterday, but I fully believe that this will end up being the most important year of my life. I had my breath taken right from my lungs by the hands that made me a man, and I survived to be me. I don't think I will ever see her again. She will never call me her baby, because she won't call again. After enough patience and time, the distance will lay out its cards in a way that brings me to ease with the situation. I have a feeling I will fade away and become forgotten until she walks back into her childhood bedroom and my letters fall from the highest shelf onto the floor our cat always peed on. It's hard to understand why you have to lose so much in order to grow up, it's hard to be forgotten. I was once her best friend, but to this day she is still mine. I know that will eventually fade to the past tense, and I am excited for the opportunities I have before me. The walls are covered with the blood the crept from the cracked skin on my hands as I frantically tried to claw my way out of this. I want to learn to relax, to keep her in my heart but out of my head, while learning to finally be happy. I have to trust in very being, that I will some day be the kind of man that an inspiring young woman wants to share her life with. I owe it to her, part of me still wants it to be her. I don't know how big that part is, it seems childishly romantic. It's as if I'm watching a movie on mute so that I can make the script myself. If I trust in time, and I remember to breath, I think I'll be okay.