There are a million beautiful things in the world, but I think the greatest is untroubled love, let free like a dove, unburdened and alive and loose.
It's been odd, really, these past few years: me with all the experience, and yet you taught me most of what I know about love. I admit my naivety, thought I knew plenty before you; as has often been the case with you, I was wrong, and I fell hard and fast. This education wasn't intentional, but it was natural, the only natural course for someone who loves as easily as I do, in love with someone as perfect (yes, perfect) as you. Even now, we both know I'll always love you (even if it drives me mad, I'd say), but so it goes. We'll make our peace with this knowledge in time.
I understand that's a big part, if not the all, of why you broke it off. When you care deeply about someone, and don't want to hurt them, and yet don't know quite what it is that you want, that's a lot of pressure: being perfect, being loved, allowing yourself to be worthy of a lifetime of love when you have so many doubts about all of it. I don't blame you for any of it; in your place, I imagine I probably would have done the same. and once, in fact, did just that.
I could say 'karma's a bitch,' but more than anything, I try to think of her now as a quiet teacher, that of patient experience, for which there is no substitute, no book on tape, no cheat sheet. Someday, perhaps, you'll know what it is that you're looking for, what it is that you want. And I'll be more patient than a thousand monks, if that's what it takes.
I'll admit to dreams, the hope that someday you'll decide what you want most is me; I'd be a liar if I said otherwise, and besides, you know it just as well. More than anything, though, what I want most is for you to be happy, and more than happy, satisfied and content and at peace with the world. As long as you had doubts and fears, that wasn't going to happen with me. That alone was reason to break things off; I never could have made you completely happy with as many doubts and uncertainties as you had.
And that's why I can't say enough how glad I am we had our conversation yesterday, hard as I'm sure it was on you. Your sister tried to help me understand your reasons, and you'd tried a bit too, but yesterday was the first time I felt like I really understood why you felt the need to break things off. I needed that, in order to accept this, in order to see it for what it is. It's hard to get a perspective when you haven't had a clear sight line; yesterday you gave me those eyes. Thank you. And please, don't ever think I hate you. You ought to know by now that I simply can't.
Another thing: through and through, you've handled yourself with the utmost respect, class, and decorum; I can't stress enough how much I've admired that, especially as I've come close to unhinged on a couple of occasions. I know this is just as hard, if not harder, for you, and yet you've shown a resilience I doubted. If possible, I admire you all the more for it.
And the future? You'll always be my best friend, or at least I certainly hope you will; I can't imagine (and don't want to) a future in which we don't bounce ideas off each other, a future in which we don't cook for each other (at least occasionally), a future in which we don't spur each other on to new adventures. I've known very few pairs of people who fit together so well as we have; I can't adequately say how grateful I am to have had you in my life these past few years.
It'll take us time to figure things out, find our boundaries, time to become comfortable with this new/old relationship, from friends to lovers to friends. And realistically, some of that tension will probably always be there; you're too wonderful and beautiful a woman for it not to be. Still, as free-spirited and immature as we can each be, we also both have the discipline to make this work, and we will. We probably won't go camping in Decorah this summer, probably won't road trip to the Dells and Circus World Museum, and we probably won't hike the mountains of Idaho or backpack Europe together anytime soon. But in time perhaps we will, and in the stead I can only hope we'll still have plenty of smaller adventures.
My life is good, more than blessed, and you're one of the biggest reasons why. Again, thank you. Advice you don't need: don't ever lose that beautiful childish curiosity and sense of adventure; don't ever let yourself become unkind; don't ever part with your gentleness or compassion. You're a beautiful, beautiful woman, in every imaginable way, and I know of more than a few lives that are better for having had you in them.
I'm realistic, and know I'll probably love again – I love too easily not to – but I also know I'll never love with the passion, recklessness, and intensity with which I've loved you. Some loves really are one of a kind, not meant to be replaced or imitated, a type of greatness that can only live once, and then forever immortal. Without this love there would be no poetry; inside it, everything is poetry. You've given me new eyes through which to see the world, and I thank you for that.
I also know that someday you will date again. Hopefully your dates will be good to you. And if they're not, I'll learn how to break kneecaps and elbows, and I'll hold you when you need a shoulder to cry on. You deserve nothing but the very best, and someday you'll find that best, even if right now you still don't know quite what you want to call best, quite what it is that you want, quite what it is that you crave out of life.
Things have a way of working themselves out with time, and this will be no different.
Oh, time: and if ten years pass and we're both single, I remember the promise we made in your kitchen, neither of our tears quiet yet dried. Neither of us ready to be over the other, neither of us willing to ever say goodbye. Hopefully you'll remember the promise too. Because if by chance we are both single in ten years, I hope to keep that promise. A decade isn't so long for love.
Te quiero mas, Katie Colleen, forever and always, te quiero mas. Amen and amen.