You were the one thing I couldn’t have, so I ran.
I understand it now, as I watch the San Francisco lights dance past this airplane window. I realize that you are the one man whom I would settle down with, start a life with, build a future with. There’s something about you, always was. It was those first glances shared across a crowded room. The way you spoke to me with a smirk. The way I could never explain how I got caught up in you—that attractive danger, the softness of your lips.
Damn that reckless, stupid heart of mine.
You were the only one I stopped running for, just for a minute. I traded my selfishness for the beat of your heart. I exchanged freedom for the feeling of your fingertips in mine. And I didn’t regret it one minute.
I still don’t.
After you left, the open space in my heart grew. It swallowed me whole. I became consumed with dreams that I never had with you, places I had left to explore, all that I hadn’t realized I’d been missing.
All the things I never needed because I was already filled in you.
And maybe that’s not so bad, to find someone who makes you get lost like a fool in love. To see their smile and want nothing more than to wake up with that same stubborn face nestled next to yours on the pillow. Every single day. To hold their calloused hands in your palms, to feel their chest, warm and alive underneath your head, to kiss those rugged lips and taste home.
To know, beyond a doubt, that this is what you’ve been searching for all along.
And then you find yourself years later, on a plane, spinning through the sky, listening to a track that aches somewhere deep in your chest. Pretending. That you don’t miss the sound of his voice or the way he touched your skin like you were the best damn thing in the world. Like there weren’t years of life and growing up hiding between both of your heartbeats. Like maybe the universe was wrong, and you were actually supposed to end up together. Against all odds.
Because he was the one man you stopped running from. For a minute, you unlaced those shoes and put your feet up. You rested. You paused. You stopped trying to be anything other than the imperfect perfection he saw you as.
And maybe that’s the reason it all crumbled. Because it was too scary to look at him and see your entire future laid out like a map along the lines of his veins. Because it’s hard to imagine forever when you’re still so young. Because maybe you knew that he was the one man who would never be yours to keep. And so you ran.
Because you knew he wouldn’t chase you.
And maybe that’s what love is. Running. Chasing. Wishing on stars and San Francisco lights as they flit aimlessly across the night sky. Believing, still. After all this time.