“I need space,” he said.
“I need to see you,” you replied.
“I need time,” he said.
“I need to see you,” you replied again.
He pulled. You pushed. It became clear that it was ending and yet you held on to the hope that it was not.
“Please don’t let this fall apart,” you thought. Maybe you even said it out loud.
But it was over. That brief affair, the one that had helped you through the darkest days of winter, was fading as the spring approached.
And you were heartbroken.
Your friends tried to console you. “You will find love again,” they said.
But they didn’t know. They didn’t know what it felt like to try again after tragic loss. They didn’t know the bravery it took to look into someone else’s eyes and say, “I will let you in, at least a little.” They didn’t know what it feels like to be so terribly alone and then to get a tiny reprieve from that horror….only to have it taken away.
“This man will not hurt me,” you had thought. He had kind eyes and a great laugh and steady hands. He would not play games with you.
And he didn’t. He was honest and he was good. But that was part of the problem.
You thought, maybe, that he was falling for you and that, maybe, you were falling for him. It didn’t feel like love – not yet – but you could imagine that possibility someday. The hope existed, anyway.
But it only existed for you.
And because of that, he hurt you.
The heartbreak was not like losing the love of your life. You’d done that before and you knew it was not at all the same. But it had been a risk – a big one – to open up your heart again. The crush that you felt after it was over was much, much worse than you had expected.
How could you let yourself be vulnerable again? How could you let your heart – the one that’s still so wounded – be available like that? What were you thinking?
You were thinking that you could be happy again.
You weren’t thinking about getting remarried or having a whole other life. You weren’t getting caught up in fairy-tale dreams. But you were thinking that happiness might be in your life again, in some other form than it once had been, in some other way than you had imagined years ago.
But you don’t get happiness, at least not right now.
Because happiness is for other people.