(This piece is deticated to my wattpad mate michaelyork1997 because he reminds me what it is like to write for those we love.)
I didn’t know what to say that night in the hospital.
That’s what you told me.
I remember our conversation so clearly.
I remember that you followed that outburst with a weak cough as you stared up at me, bitterness in your angry eyes.
I remember that I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. Instead, I gently lifted your trembling hand from the white sheets and raised it to my lips.
You said it again. You were crying.
“Nothing last . . . Why?”
I didn’t know what to say, friend. I tried to comfort you. I tried to tell you that it would be ok, that you would find a way to be whole again without him.
But sick as you were, you brushed me off. I remember your words perfectly.
“Who are you? What do you know about love? I’m dying. I’m alone. Nothing lasts. I know. Nothing lasts.”
I didn’t know what to say. Or, maybe I just didn’t know how to say it.
That’s why I wrote you this letter. I wrote it because you’re wrong friend. There is something that lasts. I didn’t know what to say that night, but if I had, this is what I would have said.
Who am I? How do I know?
I am the Man.
I am the man who you met at the party.
The one you talked with, laughed with, the man you went home with.
I am the man you chatted with all night on your couch, the man who didn’t touch you. The man who took you to breakfast and spoon fed you French toast and egg.
I am the man who already knew you had a boyfriend, who told you it was cliché when you said “let’s just be friends”, the man who warned you he was irresistible, the man who laughed when you said “seriously though, just friends.” I am the man who swore on the fourth edition of Webster’s New World College Dictionary because you couldn’t find your Bible.
I am the man who took you to see The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the man who got up three time to refill your endless popcorn, the man who told you the movie was “interesting”, the man who is always honest.
I am the man who took you rafting, the man who taught you about poetry, the man who helped you get your first A in “Scary College” math.
I am the man you took to Christmas dinner at your parents, because your “boyfriend” had other plans. I am the man your aunt Jill mistook for your “handsome lover”, the man who cracked jokes with your father about your boyfriend’s “hobby”. I am the man who still thinks calligraphy is not a hobby.
I am the man who held your hand when you found out he was cheating on you, the man who rocked you as you cried, who promised you that all men are not like him, that assured you pain does not last forever.
I am the man who pulled you to your feet, wiped away your tears, and helped you forget him.
I am the man that stood by you through all of the other men that followed, the man that scolded you, the man that told you were caught in a rut, but still held your hand through all of the heartache. I am the man who helped you move on.
I am man that realized how much he loved you. The man that wanted to tell you, the man that knew you need some sort of consistency in your life. I am the man who never said word.
I am the man that was with you when you met your husband. The man that warned you to be careful, and laughed out loud when you said you always are. I am the man who watched your relationship with him grow until he loved you, the man who fought the lump in his throat when you told him you loved him too. I am the man who held you the longest and cheered the loudest when you broke the news to your parents.
I am the man who helped you plan your wedding, the man who preferred the blue but knew you liked the green. I am the man who protected your fiancé at his bachelor party, the man who spent the night in the waiting room of the crowded hospital with a throbbing hand.
I am the man who kept your ring safe until you put it on his finger, the man who danced with you, drank with you, laughed with you.