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I have this bad habit of loving things I see potential in. This is a good quality for finding vintage clothing or a piece of furniture waiting to be sanded down to its better days and refinished to reflect its former glory.

It’s less helpful in relationships.

There is a person there who you see some shred of a dream in, and when it’s just enough to occasionally give you the sense that it could be real, you’re hooked and heading for heartbreak you can see from a mile away.

But that’s not what happened with you.

When you described what you wanted in a relationship, to be that person carrying their beloved to their mutual destination as they barreled through the night, it took my breath away – the first moment of many where I’ve been left speechless at your candor, your heart.

My dreams met their match in you, and they knew so quietly and certainly that they began to unfurl on the spot.

I see the soft places you’re still stinging, old wounds that never quite healed from the shoulds and woulds that, had they been, never would have brought you to me. My heart is fearful of being misled again, attempting to defend itself the way it used to that never worked anyway.

My only promise is this – that I will be gentle with those places and kiss them as they heal. That I won’t let myself harden to you. That I will let this hurt when it needs to so it can become what it must.

Awake in my empty bed at his ungodly hour, I hear the lonely whistle of the train echoing off of the west hills, and I think of your lovely words, calling to me through the night.