He cornered me in the shop. Everyone else was going inside to go to bed; the party was over, it was after 2 am. He had barely spoken two words to me the whole night, a man that I used to believe wholeheartedly was mine forever. And he cornered me saying, “I need you to answer these questions.”

I was taken back by this. I remember thinking… REALLY? We’ve been going back and forth about this for 7 years now, and we need to talk about it AGAIN? You still have questions?!

I instantly felt defeated, but in that moment, I realized that he had not had this conversation with the Jamie I am now. The Jamie who had realized so much and had opened her heart and soul to the honesty of the world. The little petty things no longer exist for the woman I have become, so I sat back down and said, “Okay.”

You see, I always believed he was the one that got away. For many years there wasn’t a family gathering or a major event in my life that I didn’t think “He should be here.” That’s how deep the connection always was. And over the years we tortured each other. I wasn’t always good to him, and he wasn’t always good to me, so in that moment, I realized that I probably owed it to him to answer his questions.

“Why didn’t you come to Kansas City?” was the first thing out of his mouth and I think I choked.

I didn’t even know he wanted me to. I was shocked and speechless. This question led to many more, and I kept finding myself without words because it was finally SO CLEAR how terrible we both were at communicating. We were both clueless to what the other wanted for years, YEARS.

Mind. Blown.

I watched the sun come up that morning. I sat there in silence in my best friend’s living room, freezing, listening to him snore, reflecting on all the questions, all the misconceptions that were finally relieved, and all the things that were messed up by just a pure lack of communication.

It was mesmerizing to me, to be honest. To realize that this man, whom 20-year-old me was sure was my happily ever after, was still standing there. But eight years later, we were completely different people.

The core things that made him who I fell in love with back then were still there. The values that made him who he was, the grit, the heart that was under all the rough exterior, the look, it was all still there.

But I was different. Very different. And that was a tough, yet bittersweet pill to swallow.

The things about him and me that fit, didn’t anymore. I was no longer “that bad person.” I was no longer going to fit inside of that box. I was no longer going to allow someone to love me “despite” my mistakes and flaws. I’m not sure I had ever been so confident in who I am as I was in that moment of realization. I realized that I deserve more than he knew how to give me and that it didn’t mean he was bad, or that he didn’t love me, but it was that the past is the past. It’s a love lost. And that’s okay. All the moments, fights, passion that we shared when we were just two lost kids who thought we knew it all, molded things in me that I will carry with me for life and that makes me happy. I’m grateful for the kind of love that we created.

As the sun came up, I took a good long look at him and slipped out of the house quietly. I knew at that moment, as I walked across that field to my Jeep, that it was finally laid to rest. While I was still swallowing that bitter pill, I KNEW that conversation needed to be had, and I smiled through the tears.

Sometimes things leave such a mark on your soul that they will ALWAYS be with you and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love with all I have, and a part of me loves forever, and I think that is simply beautiful.

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