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Learning Love

Only experience can teach you.

No one was ever taught how to love, and no one really can define the meaning of it; everyone has their own definition of how it should be and signs of it. It was difficult for me to understand, until I had something that happened to me in 2018. I was single my whole life and I truly wanted to learn more about myself, so I packed my bags and told myself I'm going to travel somewhere without a destination or a care in the world—it's a little corny yeah, but thanks to that, I was able to meet a woman who then changed me. And from that, I was able to learn more about the word, "Love," as well as more about myself.

We met in a grocery store in Texas and it was like something out of a movie that happened. I was making my way towards the aisle with drinks to grab something to bring back to my hotel for the day. When I reached for the bottle, another hand appeared and now the stranger's hands were overlapped with mine. I turned to look and see who it was. The person who grabbed the same drink as me looked back and said sorry, then began to laugh and smile. In that moment, the distant sound of grocery items getting scanned and people walking grew silent. I laughed and smiled back, then gave her the drink and asked if she wanted to grab something to eat after. Surprisingly, she said yes and we ate at a sushi restaurant nearby. She told me, "My English is not good. I'm sorry," but without hesitation and without thinking, my heart spoke before my mind I told her:

"Give me some time to learn your native language because I really want to know you more."

We both were from a different place. She was from a different state and I was four to five hours away from this city that we met in. We made a promise to meet at a local bakery for the next two days at 12:00 PM, and from there we spent the last two days together before she left. I gave her my number and she said that she would text me when she was back home, but I never heard from her... a month felt like three and time moved slowly. I thought to myself, "Was I not enough?" or "Did I do something wrong?" Every time I visited the city, I would wait at the bakery at 12:00 PM. I sat there with my bread and cup of coffee, watching movement at the door, but never saw the person that I wanted to most. Two months had passed and one day I saw her at the bakery. In my head, all of those sad thoughts and aching heartbeats vanished, my energy shot sky high, our eyes met, and we ran towards each other. We held each other in our arms. It was as if winter became spring and it felt like being under a warm blanket at night during December.

I never asked why she didn't contact me because all I cared about was that she was here. We caught up about what we'd been doing. Of course, I lied because I didn't want her to know it's been tough without her, but she had been busy opening her business. We spent a whole week together and this time we stayed in touch when she left. After that we would plan to meet every holiday and every weekend that we were free. This went on for six months. I loved seeing her happy. The smile she had and her laugh was magical, I could be tired and not sleep at all, but it gave me the boost I needed to get through the day. I let her know that as long as she was happy, I'd be happy no matter what, and she said the same. Then one day in February 2019, I texted her, but my message didn't go through and I thought that was strange so I sent a couple more throughout the day, but the days turned to a week, and that's when I realized... I had been blocked.

I sat there thinking where did I go wrong and why she left without saying anything. I was angry at myself because I felt as if I wasn't enough for her. Anger turned to sadness, then turned to drinking, which led to now.

I'm not angry at her. I'm quite the opposite. I'm happy, because without her, I wouldn't have had the best days of my life so far and I cherish it a lot. I pray and wish that her business goes well and that she is happy while getting enough sleep and eating lots of good food. And so, I learned what love meant for me... it meant that the person you cared for the most would be happy even if it costed you your own.