Words by Gabrielle Pharms. Photo courtesy of Ian Dooley / Unsplash.
The part of me that lives between my mind and heart grasps at the concept of a relationship with him, though its success rate lessens with every day that passes. He’s the whiskey that gets me into trouble. He’s the Mr. Big of my life – coming and going as he pleases and to my dismay. The words of my mother echoes into my mind: “Baby, love isn’t supposed to hurt.” Yet, here I am in reeling in a mix of tears and longing that is too familiar when it relates to Coco.
I haven’t seen Coco in over two years until this day. This day, we meet in another state for a vacation that he invited me to. My heart leaped with excitement when invited and I immediately made arrangements to join him and his friends on the adventure. The picturesque environment is the perfect backdrop for a romantic rendezvous, or so I thought. Just the presence of Coco’s je ne sais quoi makes me feel both uneasy and safe. An oxymoron of the sort, but the heart is a treacherous organ. I find myself yearning for him though I know he’ll never love me the way I love him.
We talk, and everything disappears around me. Time stand still, like in Big Fish. The world around us keeps going, but all I see and hear is him. Nothing even matters because at this moment it’s just him and I deep in conversation about the going-on of life for the past years we’ve been absent from each other’s lives.
“I don’t want to get married right now,” he casually states out of his 31-year-old mouth.
My heart stops. His statement stabs me. Thoughts begin to run through my mind: Why’d he even invite me on this trip? Why have I allowed this man to have this grasp on me for years? I’m not in love. I’m familiar with the tightness of that hold, but this is different. A fixated, acute infatuation? Perhaps, but no.
Mixed messages over an extended period of time only has a hold on you if you allow it. Unfortunately, the reek of Coco lingers because I have allowed it, because the fantasy is sweeter than the reality. But while he lives in my fantasy, I can’t continue to. I have to let go by continuing on without him.