This Time Around
You came back to me. But will it be different this time?
Let's be very clear: I know you didn't leave the first time around. I know good and goddamn well that I pushed you away with my cold, short replies and half-assed excuses. I know you had nothing to do with the sour taste that our demise left in my mouth. The worst part was that it ended before it ever truly began all because I was scared. Terrified.
But for some reason, you're back now.
Months after I snubbed you in the worst way, you slipped back into my life like the faintest, softest ray of sunlight. You wriggled your way through the crevices in the window that I had shut long ago. Except, I'd never truly shut it at all. I'd simply cloaked the window in translucent curtains, secretly hoping you'd find your way back to me.
I was surprised to find that, this time, I wasn't queasy with anxiety at the mere mention of your name anymore. Instead, I stood before the window and bathed myself in your light rather than cowering in the comfort of the shadows. Of course, I still battled my past—and still very present—fears, but I had already learned what submitting to them could cost me. I wasn't about to let that happen again.
It wasn't long after you returned, though, that I realized you weren't the same guy you once were. The charm and dry sense of humor that I'd always adored were still there. Yes, you still oozed with charisma. But something was different. You were more reserved this time around. Your humor was more muted; your words, careful. I could quickly tell that you were holding back.
Then, it hit me: it was because of me—of what I had done. Just as I had done over the summer when we had talked, you were building your defenses. An ache settled deep within my ribs, and every breath I took was riddled with regret. If I could've turned back the clock, I would've knocked my walls down myself, let you in, and jumped into your arms without thinking twice. But I couldn't. I can't. I only have now.
You don't know it, but you've given me a gift by coming back into my life. Not only have you given the potential of us another chance, but you've given me another chance as well. A chance to really make myself believe that I'm worthy of the bliss and giddiness you make me feel. A chance to perhaps experience something I've never felt before. That would be the greatest gift I have ever received, if I'm being completely honest.
But you're making me work for it every step of the way. Whether you know it or not, your approach to whatever we have is different than it was the first time. During the summer, you showered me with compliments and seized every opportunity to make me laugh. Multiple times, you even asked to take me out. Yet, instead of giving us a shot at something truly special like I deeply wanted to, I backed away. I didn't know it then, but I know now (because hindsight's a bitch); it's worth it.
No matter how this ends, it'll still be worth it. This whole thing could fizzle out at any given moment, or it could turn into something that I've only ever dreamed of having for myself. This could also crash and burn in spite of all the love and effort we may pour into it. Or, it could become something that's only existed when I close my eyes to sleep at night.
But I won't know if I don't try. Believe me when I say I'm scared shitless at the thought of the unknown, but I'm willing to give everything I have to see what could be. This time around, I'm determined to give this the shot it deserves—and I deserve. I pray you are, too, because I'm not sure I could survive having you and losing you twice.
When you're ready, I'll be on the ledge I was too scared to go near last time. I'll be staring down deep into the abyss before us. I know, there will only be darkness at our feet. But what if it's only a thin, black layer, concealing the wonderful things that are right around the corner? We'll never know if we don't dive head first into it.
But I'll only jump if you jump. Please, when you're ready, come find me. You won't have to look far because you'll find I've been right by your side all along. Unlike last time, I don't plan on going anywhere.
This time around, I don't want to go anywhere without you. So, please, take my hand. And let's find out what we missed out on before.