Atlantic

I wish I could have told you how I felt.

But every fear dragged me overboard and I’ve been drowning for what feels like years. I remember the way you said you loved me, and waited for a reply I was incapable of giving. “Yes… I love you…” crashed back and forth like waves in my mind, but my tongue was a stagnant pool that refused to move. The only syllables I formed were a fragmented word that sounded a lot like your name, blended with mine. I wish I could have had the words to explain everything to you, because you deserved more. You have always deserved more than silent apologies and kisses that taste like goodbye. But how could I explain I’d thrown my mind to the sea and allowed my heart to slip from my hands, without admitting I’d wanted to find them again in your arms? How would I tell you the only idea I feared more than falling in love with you is that you would fall out? How would I say I hated the way my palms felt empty every second they were not filled with yours and my neck felt cold without your lips to warm it and my chest felt like a diving cage I’d forgotten to latch shut and I’m sorry if you ever thought for a moment you were not enough. If you ever spent a day thinking you were alone or unloved, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that you had to walk away without a reason for the way this ended, the way we ended. Yet the storm you stirred up in my soul is still roaring. Storm sirens are screaming as a flood of memories pours into my ribcage with the tide. I cannot stop thinking about the day you told me that loving me was like sailing into the middle of a hurricane that’s been raging for months. My response was that if you don’t leave this safety, you’ll never need a lifeline, but I’m the one that did the leaving and I never realized that my own lifeline was you until it was too late. My ears are still ringing. I can’t tell if it’s from all the unsaid words in my head, or the water pressure. One thing I’m completely sure of however, is that loving you was the most natural disaster I have ever experienced. I can’t seem to breathe with this shipwreck in my chest and all of the saltwater in my windpipe is making it impossible to recover. I think I finally understand what “You take my breath away” really means. So if having air in my lungs meant I’d hurt you again, I think I’d rather drown.

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