Forever, maybe

She looks like someone I could spend the rest of my life with. That’s what I thought the first time I saw her. I was young, cliche and maybe a little drunk, yes, but it is what came to my mind as I watched her. She was dancing with a girl I had never seen before, moves that didn’t quite fit the song playing; she was beautiful, laughing, alive, and I thought I was in a romantic comedy. I may have convinced myself I would fall in love with her right then and there.

My friend from Art History told me she was someone’s girlfriend’s friend or something unimportant along those lines, and as he tried to explain exactly how his roommate knew her, I of course stopped listening and began listing myself all the possible ways to come up to her and say something, say anything. I took a shot that tasted disgusting and I walked to her holding my breath.

I thought I was living in a romantic comedy, and it felt like it in every way it could. She was everything my mind made her up to be; I was sure and, to my astonishment, she was too. We were young, cliche and definitely a little drunk, and we fell in love as quickly as we could. Then came first and second dates with good wine I definitely couldn’t afford, third and fourth dates with awkard moments and conversations about things a little more serious than they usually talk about in romantic comedies; came first kisses and first times, meeting the friends and meeting the parents, birthdays and Christmases, days missing and nights talking, and so much love in between. We were young, cliche and we fell in love with each other and with the idea of forever.

Day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, forever was passing right before our eyes. But as we talked about love and picked rings, dresses, flowers, dates and baby names, forever was always a sweet thought of tomorrow, next month, next year, rather than the sweetest taste of a collection of simple, beautiful right nows. We got married. My mother cried, her father welcomed me to the family, her friend she was dancing with at that party was the maid of honor and on his speech my friend from Art History talked about how my eyes sparkled looking at her, the woman I would love so much, back on that first party. We talked about love and forever, and took each other as our lawfully wedded lovers, and promised to, from that warm summer day in July forward, have and hold each other through sickness and health, for richer and poorer, for better or for worse, until death did us part.

Forever was really all we had ever wished for.

We loved each other through it all – hospital scares that come with the age, months when we could barely make ends meet, pregnancy tests that always came negative. We told each other we took a vow and we were in love and we were forever, we couldn’t possibly throw it all away. We made sure to keep all of our vows, every single one of them, to keep our promise of forever safe, but at last the one we in a way longed for the most desperately did not remain kept. Death didn’t do us part.

Life happened, as it does, and as time passed, something essential faded away. Maybe it was the hurt, the not getting pregnant, the feeling stuck in time, but I each day more I suspect otherwise. I loved her through all of it, and she loved me back, and we held each other’s hands tight and ran our path to the picture of forever. And in a third act as ironic as life can let it be, we lost something which exists beyond words, the part of us that made love what we had always wished it could be.

Perhaps we waited for forever for so long, too long, and one day we looked back and realized half of our forever was behind us.

And we stayed. Our sweet romantic dramedy was over, it had been for a long time, but we stayed when we didn’t have any more reasons to, because even though we weren’t young anymore, we were still stubborn, and we were supposed to be forever.

The first time I saw her, I thought she looked like someone I would be lucky to spend the rest of my life with. I loved her, and I loved how she was my cliche, my romantic comedy, my forever. But, as it does, life happened, and we lost something and kept losing it. We were done part despite the fact that we were supposed to be forever, or maybe because of it. We pushed through the days and weeks and months and years because we were old and stubborn and too foolish for our own good, but when we looked back love was long gone, and life had done us part.

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