Letters to the Men I Loved: Dear College Sweetheart
Dear College Sweetheart,
When I met you, you were the fastest high school 110-meter hurdler in American History. Destined to be an Olympian and probable American hero. Exquisitely built and beautiful. To be honest, you were the first man I ever said "I love you" too, and was wise enough to understanding the meaning.
Like many college relationships we started off as friends with benefits, and somehow grew inseparable. Young love is so passionate but without reason, direction, or thought to the future. We fumbled about quite happily through our early twenties.
Then life happened. I remember like it was yesterday- you down in the starting blocks, the starting gun popping off over my head. You pulled away from the other runners with such ease. You glided so beautifully over the hurdles, and then I watched you crash with the fury of a train. I felt like everything was moving in slow motion. I couldn't get to you, I couldn't help you. Your hamstring was destroyed, and you would never run fearlessly again. You changed forever on that day.
I didn't know about depression, I didn't know you were depressed and I certainly didn't know how to help you. I know I let you down. You busied yourself with video games and bro-mances, and I pretended to be your wife, cooking and cleaning trying to make you happy again. I hadn't learned how to harness adult emotions and I began to rant and rage- so frustrated because you didn't seem present. I was forcing my love on you and you told me outright you weren't ready. I should have listened. Despite all the ups and downs when I needed you most, you were there for me. You are the man that gently nudged me awake and held me so tight and whispered softly, "your mother's gone." You held my hand as I cried at her funeral, and just a year and a half later, you drove me across the country to bury my father.
We hadn't been in a healthy relationship for years, but when I needed you, you were there. It seems like it took us years to finally break up and move on. Years later when I told you I was getting married, I could see the pain in your eyes. I've always known how much you loved me, even with so many words unsaid. Our timing for love was just off.
You told me yourself that you would never marry. I've never known you to have a serious girlfriend. You laugh and say I ruined you when I ask you why you haven't settled down. I probably did.
You are one of my favorite people, even though I give you your space. Our son is your twin down to your perfect legs. I hope they carry him places that barely escaped you.