The Boys Who Held My Heart In Their Hands


A friend and I were talking about past relationships, our compatibility with the other person, and what connection looked like to both of us. He asked me why I loved my previous boyfriend, because it didn’t seem like we were similar at all. At the time, I laughed, jokingly saying, “I don’t know. Sometimes things don’t work the way you think they will.” But afterward, I thought of the boys who have held my heart in their hands and why I wanted them too.


An intoxicating love that was equally unhealthy. We never had enough of a beginning to really have an end; we had a continuous maybe that haunted both of us. Meeting when we were 16 and hopeful, I think I loved the idea that love could conquer all distances. That it could and would be enough by itself.

He was all crinkly smiles and strong-jawed. He sang Put the Lime In The Coconut through the computer screen to make me laugh and was the first person to ever call me beautiful. We talked of plane tickets and perhapses, clinging to comfort and potential that maybe we would be meant to be despite all the miles, even after all the years.

In the end, we said “I love you” like an apology, because despite it all, it couldn’t string the distance together. We were nothing more than a hopeful thought.


Our roles in love reversed quickly. In the beginning, he was all love drunk smiles, infatuated by me. My love was soft-spoken, but once I was hooked, the switch flipped. We made countless jokes, stupid voices, and ridiculous dance moves in his car.  Our endless laughter permeated my heart, reminding me it was okay to let go and be amused. I hung to his arm and entwined myself into his fingers and his life.

Maybe the end taints things. Maybe it’s hard to look back and see the love when it faded over the years. The spark was replaced with a comfortability that he knew me and my nuances better than anyone else.  The laughter stayed. The comfort of his outstretched arms reaching for me in the night encouraged me that maybe I was making the distance up in my head.

But our love changed to familiarity, and I’m not sure anymore if the love was there in the end.


To the future. Maybe all I’ve ever wanted is to be seen. Maybe, that’s what we all truly want. To feel loved without borders, walls, and boxes of secrets. A no filter kind of love. I don’t think I’ve achieved that yet, but I’m hopeful. And I’m willing to wait.