The Question

They had spent the last year doing nothing but loving each other, falling, growing, and delighting themselves in love. The summer came and went, bringing them nights under the streetlights, an investment into a reality TV show, long drives on hot days in cars with malfunctioning air-conditioning, but most of all, the summer brought them a freedom and proximity that shaped a raw love into a friendship and undeniable bond between a boy and a girl. For the boy, the girl became his best friend, a companion who pushed him but loved him, someone he adored yet respected. He wanted the whole world to see how great they were, but more importantly he wanted the world to feel her love like he did. He felt that he was unique to her; he felt that he had an innate understanding of her like no one else did, like his relationship to her was driven by a preconceived spiritual force, and for the most part, it was. The feelings she had for him were unique; ones she hadn’t felt for anybody else, ever. She didn’t understand these new emotions all that well; despite everything in the world that might go against her, she felt completely healed with him, and at the end of the day she knew one thing, and she knew it well. She knew that she loved him. She loved this boy more than she had ever loved anybody. Nothing could shake that; nothing could shatter the foundation that stood so firmly beneath them. Just as she was to him, he became her best friend, her most trusted ally, and apple of her eye. At times, the young love could not be contained by their bodies, and the excess radiated to those around them, extracting sighs of happiness, misunderstanding, and slight annoyance. While verbalizing their relationship was difficult because of the extreme emotions, they had a mutual understanding of where their love stood, and the passion between them flowed equally in both directions.

He wanted so badly to share his life with her, to spend the best and worst moments together, to be there for every episode, dream, and miscellaneous event for her, but that same life he was trying to share, was the reason they had to distance themselves from each other. Their dreams included lives that would be nurtured by individual goals and ambitions. Sure, they were absorbed in themselves more than they were in reality, but they knew that a future together required the two of them to stand on their own legs before they could stand together. They had to be more than together; they had to be healthy, outstanding, and capable… So, he left her.
He distanced himself from her, only because he had to. Only because he knew he had to live without her before he could share his life with her, and she knew that she had to do the same. Anything less would be cheating each other and opting out for a less than an extraordinary future.
At first, the distance was nothing except inconvenient. It shallowed their abilities, but stood meager underneath the prowess of their dedication to each other. At first, it seemed nothing would hold them up, only the annoyance of small inconveniences would resist, but even those were forgotten in the seconds they saw each other once a month. Their world seemed in their control, but underneath everything, youth stubbornness existed, slowly poisoning the tree of love that was planted in the spring, and had grown ever so strong underneath the warm summer sun.
The distance became more than an inconvenience; it became painful. The distance was slowly starting to shred every attachment that bonded in the months prior. The adherence two each other slowly began to wear off, and in their stubbornness, they ignored the pain that was starting to persevere through their monthly visits, and bad days started to turn into bad weeks. Bad weeks bleached themselves into bad months, and eventually, the bad months became the normal. The video chats stopped, and then the phone calls, and for a few stretches before and after arguments, they were completely silent to each other. It took a few months sure, but in less than a year, the young, energetic, and adorable relationship decayed into nothing but a meaningless “streak,” and a plethora of redundant, lazy, and toxic text messages.
Communicating every day was an interesting phenomenon, because while they talked more frequently than ever before, they had ceased supplying meaningful conversation into each other’s lives. Conversing became an everyday task, much like eating breakfast, or brushing one’s teeth before bed. The sharing of words became arduous, repetitive, and they found themselves participating in a daily redundancy that added to the pressures of everyday life. It wasn’t his or her fault, but rather it was youth’s. This issue of communicating was too new and too serious for such inexperienced lovers. Sharing a life with someone requires patience and skills for solving problems that develop inside the relationship itself; it was simple, life was getting in the way. Talking on the phone every day, was not the same as talking to her every day. The silence shared via mobile was not the same as sharing silence sitting next to her, and it was crude to think that the things they said through the phone would resonate the same as if it were said face to face.
He had known, deep down, for a while that they had begun to fade. Despite his efforts, and despite her perseverance, it seemed the same spiritual force that had brought them together was pushing them apart. He fucked up, a few times, and he knew that. He tried to keep things as calm as possible, but even still water can drown a man. The distance had finally come between them. It gnawed them, hurt them, and made 400 miles seem like a universe away.
Nevertheless, the struggled continued through the school year, and where there was a struggle, there was a relationship that contained two individuals working tirelessly to stay together. And at the time, they were two weeks to freedom, two weeks to reconciliation, warmth, but most of all they were two weeks away from being in the same room again. There was a single string left between them, one strand of hope that had not severed over the course of the year. How it had lasted, neither of them knew; it was there, but it wouldn’t be for long.

* * *

There he was, in his own wet universe, with several weeks’ worth of arguments flashing into his retinas from a tiny screen. He became embarrassed of the things he said, but proud of the principles he was working so hard to protect. He looked at her last message; the sadness and heartache bled through each and every pixel, and pushed its way into the empty chamber where his heart used to beat. Why did I say that? He couldn’t help but think. He pondered for quite some time before he would finally fall asleep, thinking of what he wished he would’ve said instead of his guillotine texts. He had sent novels to her, back to back to back, with emotionally charged words that were trying so hard to be tranquil. They were mean, offensive to her, and effectively ineffective. In the end, all the words in the past few weeks came down to one question, the one thing he wished he would’ve said instead. It was clear, through the mud, dirt, and water, that all he wanted to say, or ask, was simply…

Is this too much for you?

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