You were once a stranger who became my everything.
To the woman I once loved:
There was a time that we shared ourselves with each other, wasn't there? 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 you were once a stranger, but became my everything. And then, eventually, you seemed to somehow become a stranger again.
A stranger who will forever leave a space in my heart and mind. A stranger 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 back of my mind that softly emerge when the right song is heard or the right scent is smelled. Memories that manifest themselves as a gentle smile across my face, reminiscent of those we once shared across the room.
Smiles we shared when we were different people than we are now, back when we were learning from, growing with, and 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.
I 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 will have lived a life of great experiences, a life full of stories to be told.
We will have laughter lines from laughs we didn't share together and wrinkles from pains that we didn't shield each other from.
We will have traditions we've 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 didn't 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, we will have one last smile of understanding and shared memories.
We will fade from each other's lives but burn brighter in the ones we've created for ourselves with the one we love now. The one who taught us that it was OK 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's accepted us fully, as we've accepted them.
Smiles of contentment that reflect the silent comfort that we've found happiness when, at one time, we didn't think it was possible without each other. Smiles that understand that this is the way things were meant to be.
It always was.
James Michael Sama is an award-winning Boston based blogger on the topics of dating and relationships, having amassed over 30 million readers in just a year and a half. He writes and speaks on the topics of chivalry, romance, and happiness throughout the country and has been featured repeatedly in news segments, talk shows, and mainstream radio.
This article was originally published at jamesmsama.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.