T.L., MD

I close my eyes and see your face, my heart stops, my stomach turns, and my lips smile all at once. Around you I can’t breathe, around you time goes by too fast, our ending always coming too soon. My heart forgetting all the talks I had with myself as I drove to see you, “Paris you guys are just friends, don’t let him get his way, don’t kiss him, don’t sleep with him, don’t be too nice, you are already making it easy for him by coming out here, fuck him.” All along knowing the minute my eyes locks with his, it is game over. All that talk thrown out the window, barely being able to remember my own name, or what the word “No” even means.

Each meeting followed by a series of self-deprecating thoughts; “WTF Paris! Why are you so weak? You are the girl he calls when he has nothing else to do, he doesn’t even have to take you to dinner, you are nothing more than a bottle of wine and you are ready to give him your world. What makes you think that this is the time that he will fall in love with you? How long has it been? 5 maybe 6 years of this and he has made no more effort than the first year? You know he won’t take you serious or marry you right? He told you this? Yet here you are driving miles, wasting gas and tolls the second he texts you. How many times have you cancelled on good men that actually want a future with you because he decided to see you last minute? How many weeks after each encounter does it take you to stop fantasizing about him and what could have been? His birthdate is your passcode on your phone, his name is your password on all your accounts, obsessed a little? How crush are you going to be when he marries eventually? Then he will not even speak to you because you know he will respect his wife. So why are you sitting around worshiping someone that clearly does not see you in the same light?

Love. Love is the reason that I drop everything and everyone the minute he calls. Magnetism, love at first sight, my soul mate, whatever you want to call it, when he is with me, its not him or anything about him. It is every cell in my body reacting to his energy around me, I can’t explain it, and to be fair neither can he. I have done my share of pushing him away, cursing him out every time I got upset, being crazy and jealous, possessive, embarrassing him in public, stalking him online, blocking him in every form of communication, crying till my eyes had no tears. Yet, he always comes back for me, doesn’t let me go, is that him being selfish, or is that magnetism? Are we both stupid? This crazy emotion we both feel that we can’t let go of each other, like a drug that keeps us captive. I wonder, if he weren’t Indian, would he marry me? If his culture wasn’t an issue, would he make me his? Will he miss me the day that he has to marry someone and part ways with me for good?

He is semi boring, too quiet at times, a bit of a weirdo, too much of a republican for me, and nerdy. Yet I adore every second with him, his dorky smile fills my heart with joy, the subtle ways he shows his jealousy, never asking me directly, but always hinting wanting to have pride to not ask because he knows he has no right to, but the doubt kills him. His happiness is essential to me, even if it’s not by my side. His troubles worry me and make me lose sleep. That is how I know he is my greatest love, because although we have never been in a real relationship, I just want what’s best for him, not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, he is the air that fills my lungs, the light in my dark days, the hope I cling to in my loneliness. The one I will wait for. I date and date to pass the time, but the moment I realize that someone may actually like me, I run. I run away because I know even if I liked them, the minute that he calls me, I would leave. I don’t want to break anyone’s heart. I know what that feels like, but I also have to be true to myself that my heart has had an owner since that summer night we locked eyes in 2015. The men that have passed by my life since that moment, have none stood a chance, not even my ex who was well aware of my feelings. So on this Valentine’s Day, I want you to know what you already know, that in an ideal world, you would be my Valentine for this lifetime and every other lifetimes to come.

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