His presence was the kind that filled me with the feeling he would never leave. He made me coffee and eggs in the morning, held my hand when I was sick, and pulled me closer when I pushed him away. On days I struggled to get out of bed, he made sure I was as at least comfortable. When I was too anxious to drive, when I missed him so much it hurt, when I had some downtime at work, he was always a phone call away. He took me out when I knew he would rather stay in. He let me choose the music in his car. He gave long distance a chance because seeing each other once a month was better than never seeing each other again. He loved me unconditionally, but he never heard me sing.
He introduced me to his coworkers and friends. His mother approved of me and welcomed me as if I were family. We spent a week in Cape May and got tattoos together. He made me feel beautiful and he loved to see me smile. He turned me into a sushi enthusiast and never judged me for eating more than him. He greeted me with flowers at the airport and warmed me up when I was cold. I genuinely meant it when I told him I would never take him for granted, but he couldn't make the same promise.
It's not that he didn't want to; He gave his best effort to say 'thank you' when he knew it was what I would have liked to hear. We discovered each other's "love languages" and tried our best to communicate in ways we could respectively understand and appreciate. I believed things would only get better the more we invested in trying. I wanted to move forward, despite the hardships we experienced in the past. I had forgiven him for his mistakes and accepted him for his flaws, but he was unable to do the same.
I was too emotional. The extremities of my moods wore him down. He couldn't appreciate when I was at my best because his focus was always on my worst. He was stuck in the past. He couldn't live in the moment because he feared losing it. He couldn't be happy because his glass was always half empty. He told me he was conditioned to be cynical toward me. I wanted nothing more than to make him as happy as he made me, but he couldn't believe in me.
He saw me as weak. He wouldn't give me the light of day. He was unable to be compassionate toward my feelings. He wasn't fair and he admitted it. He said things he knew would hurt me. I wanted him anyway. I sympathized with his inability to feel and felt bad for him when he would deny the parts of himself that made him human. He criticized me for being human and for being proud of it. He suppressed his feelings until he couldn't feel anything anymore. He tried to tell me what I needed, but he didn't know what he needed himself.
He never visited my hometown or watched how I interact with my best friends during our typical "dinner and putz" traditions. He never saw me while I'm working or the way I bring joy to the lives of people who only know me by my name tag. He never sat in the passenger seat and observed the way I use the steering wheel as a drum while listening to the same CD every day for months until I decide it's time for a different one. He doubted my independence, but he never knew me outside of our relationship.
It wasn't fair. I was more involved in his life than he was in mine. He thought he knew all of me and that there was nothing more to learn. He insists that people only write when they are sad and therefore do not write the truth. He will read this and assume I am writing from pure emotion without logic. He will argue that one is better than the other. He will project these opinions onto our relationship as if we are not equals. He will dismiss my thoughts and feelings as drama without purpose. He will be wrong, but we will agree to disagree.
I wish he could appreciate me for who I am. I wish he didn't resent me for my compelling emotions or for expressing them in a healthy manner. I wish he saw them as a strength rather than a weakness. I wish he could accept our differences and be compassionate. I wish he could understand me on a deeper level. I wish he could possess the ability to sympathize. I wish he wasn't so quick to judge. I wish he wasn't so stubborn in his beliefs. He has my art hung up at his office, but it wouldn't exist if I were not me.
I love him anyway. He made me want to be a better person. I am not complaining, nor would I ever feel the need to. I stand by my promise when I said I would never take him for granted. I want to give back all he has given me because he deserves it. I want him to be happy and I hope he learns how to be. I would not trade what we had, but I only wonder if things would have been different if he ever heard me sing.