Once, while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, she overheard someone on TV say that falling in love was similar to open heart surgery; the way it cracks you open, shines light on and pokes at your deepest wounds- and then, ultimately, heals you. The room smelled like rubber, and even though there was an attempt at creating a modern, inviting space you could feel the strain of the air purifier trying to clear out the sickness that usually occupied the velvet upholstered seats. She didn’t fully understand this love analogy at the time, because she wasn’t in the habit of acknowledging the breadth and depth of her own existence, much less sharing it with another person. “Why would love hurt so much? Isn’t being seen and accepted the best feeling in the world?”, she thought.
When she met him, years later, she understood immediately. She knew what it meant to be cracked open just by looking at someone and feeling them look back at her, wondering who she is-asking her to show them. The issue, she thought, was not in answering the question of who she was but explaining who she was not and, most importantly, who she would never be.
She had an elegance and sophistication about her that made people question themselves. Her mind was sharp but scattered and her heart was soft. She was beautiful. She was brilliant. She did not fit in.
She was not and would never be who he needed her to be. She would never be the one to heal him. In theory, she was not hard to love, but she would never be the one. She would never be the one he loved.
She would, however, be the one who loved herself.