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Updated: May 9, 2023

I sat with wine in hand, staring through tear filled eyes at the most beautiful images of my fairytale ending. Yet in an unexpected turn of events, I was nowhere in sight. I didn’t want it to be true, but there was no denying what was in front of my face.

We were like a perfect composition with thought provoking lyrics; you and me. We used to flow effortlessly together. Similar to the way Heather Headley’s voice now repeatedly rides the strings of “In My Mind”. Although it’s been 10 months and some days since we screamed at each other and parted ways, the highlight from our years in love plays for what must be - the last time.

We’d strolled Chicago’s north side one summer night, hand in hand. You looked down and to my surprise, asked me if I knew my ring size. Told me you knew I was your forever. Fast forward to my first fall experience in New York, we laughed all the way across the Brooklyn Bridge after having sat and spent time with your grandmother. Nothing was ever that funny, and to bystanders, we probably looked like fools who took nothing seriously. We always made it our business to find laughable moments. Back in Chicago, we grabbed brunch outdoors in the dead of winter. I remember asking, "babe, are you cold?” if looks could kill, you’d have had my head on a damn platter. The unexpected loss. You hopped a flight and came to rub my back just so I could sleep. If I called, you’d answer. Even if it was for a reason as ridiculous as I’d had a bad dream and needed to hear your voice. You made me feel safe in a way that no one ever has. The ongoing debates about our first date and how we met. You knew you could tell some stories, but hearing the way your voice hit notes like Mariah mid tale was always hilarious to hear. You meant so much to me. You still mean so much to me. Be that as it may, the visual evidence before me shows that God had other plans.

Life is such a crazy thing. One minute you’re madly in love and the next, you’re in pain so deep it hurts to breathe.

“Man. I miss you so much. Every day.” I didn’t know what to say to you when I read that message, and looking back I wish I did. It wouldn’t have changed anything, but I’d be able to sleep a little better knowing that you knew: I deeply miss you too and yes, I still love you.

Seeing you run off into the sunset with someone else bears a different kind of pain, but out of respect for this new chapter of your life, I’ll refrain. I read somewhere once that grief is the final act of love. Alone, I’m standing here in the thick of it.

Recently, I asked God to show me whether I’d made a mistake in being stubborn and giving up on us. His response - these pictures of you on your wedding day.

Taking another gulp of what numbs this pain, the tears fall uncontrollably down my face.

Touché, God. I think I got the message.

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