To the Other One Who Got Away


I’m scared. Have been for a while. Ever since I met you I’ve feared losing you. Even though I never really had you, and never really will.

I recognized early on that we were different. That we had separate life trajectories. That our souls could never really merge like I so wanted. Too bad it couldn’t stop me from wanting you. From trying to make something of us, even though I knew there was no chance at success. From straining against that great foregone conclusion, just to be able to dream for a little while. Just so I could lie myself into having a little hope.

Because really, that’s what made you so damn irresistible to me: hope. You’re young, sweet, innocent, hopeful. Functional. Whole. Everything I could have wanted to start off a future full of possibility. Everything with which I could try to restart a broken life. You were so irresistible that I couldn’t stop myself from staying by your side for a little while, even knowing the whole time that nothing would come of it. I just needed to hide in your shadow for as long as I could manage. No matter the inevitable end.

And honestly, the thought of seeing you with someone else terrifies me. Even though it’s what’s best for you. Even though it isn’t just a possibility, but an unavoidable outcome. It must be, because you still have a chance at a normal, happy life. I don’t. I’m damaged beyond repair, abnormal beyond understanding, and tortured beyond solace. I can never give you what you need. But even though I know this, I still can’t let you go.

That’s because I can’t let go of what you represent. You remind me of true, hoping, trusting, pure, untainted love. That beautiful and undying affection when childhood friendship blossoms into full romance. What I once had. I can’t let you go because I can’t come to terms with the fact that it’s over. The time when I lived that euphoria is gone forever. And if I embrace that harsh truth I just don’t think I can keep on breathing.

So I plead with you to stay. Beg you to go. Because I can’t work up the courage to live with either outcome.

Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. He is also the founder of the Rights Brigade, a mover for the Free State Project, and a martial art instructor.