Yesterday I watched you leave from the station platform as you struggled with your luggage, trying to find your seat on the train. These are the worst goodbyes. Though the proper farewells had been said all afternoon, slowly building up to the final waves goodbye, this part always feels rushed. One minute we are chatting and laughing; the next we are fighting back tears as the conductor hurries you onto the train. That evening back at home there were constant reminders that you were no longer there; the shoes you left in the hall, the two sets of cutlery, plates and mugs left to be washed up, the pictures of you on my wall. The worst reminder of all was, and always is, when it’s time for bed. There are obvious reminders, such as the lack of pre-sleep conversation, and subtle ones. The scent left on the pillow next to mine is probably the thing that always hits me hardest. This scent will only last the one night and is impossible to recreate. It isn’t your perfume or body spray, shampoo or body wash. It’s the scent of you, the natural smell of your skin that only I know. It is this briefly lingering part of you at a time when I think of you the most that really makes me realize that you have gone. Worse than those feelings of loss and separation, however, is the uncertainty of when we will next see each other. When there is a specific date it is possible to count down the days and the time seems to slip past without anyone noticing. A date has now been set, but at the time you left neither of us knew for sure when it would be, which makes the briefness of the goodbye even more substantial.
Being apart isn’t all bad news though. The time spent together is cherished beyond any other experience I have. However long it is, one day or five, I am completely bowled over with happiness. This weekend there was so much laughter and conversation it would be impossible to feel any other way. So many people have commented on how happy we are together, how naturally we gel; this weekend was no different. The stand out comment for me was simply “If you two weren’t together, and I knew you both, you’d be the easiest matchmaking experiment ever; you’re like the same person in two parts”. It’s comments like that, and weekends like the one just gone, are what make long distance relationships so worthwhile. For all the time spent apart and the periods of loneliness, there are moments of complete and utter happiness which are indescribable to those who haven’t experienced it. For a weekend at a time you feel whole again, like there is nothing to worry about anymore. You live for these moments.
We have completed three of our four years apart, others see this as a long time, but to us, it’s just another year. After that, that moment at the end of the summer, when we go back to different universities, 400 miles apart, won’t come. We can be near each other all the time. There are horror stories aplenty about long distance relationships, but if you really love the person you’re with it doesn’t seem like any effort at all. Yes, it’s difficult and there are hard times, but you move on and forget. You make up for them with the good times, which are always far better than you could imagine them to be. I don’t know if we would have lasted in other circumstances or not as I haven’t experienced them; but being apart has taught me so much about myself and about you, it has taught me to appreciate what I have and to enjoy the little things. You have opened my eyes to the world and I want to continue learning with you for a long time to come.
I miss you more and more, every day we are apart. I can’t wait for this time next year. I love you