My Linebacker

Loving someone hurts. It hurts worse than anything else in this world. There’s no accident, no scarring, no medical procedure, that compares to what love hurts like.

Coldness. Frigid cold. Loneliness so deep you drown. Weakness you never had before. Weakness that you want someone to lean on but it’s just you now.

You breathe better when you know they’re near.

You don’t breathe at all if they aren’t.

You feel complete and whole when they are close.

And broken and torn apart when they aren’t.

Their name, their voice, their smile, your heart dances and sings for those small things.

Those texts “you’re beautiful” “be safe” “what do you need I am here for you”. ..“talk to me”.

The whole world is them and you.

It’s the most dangerous drug. The most addictive drug. To want to be loved so badly but to not have anyone. Craving it, wanting it, but not having it…

I fell for him so hard I had no idea what happened. I woke up this morning and his name was on my lips again, my cheeks were tearstained, his name had been in my prayers the night before, his face in my dreams, loneliness aching in my heart painful enough to wake me at 2am with salty tears dripping down my face and in that moment I knew my boy needed to hear from me. My boy needed to know.

It hurts. It hurts. It burns. It’s cold. It’s lonely beyond loneliness. Frigid like ice.

Watching other happy couples in their “completeness”, the”butterflies” of love tripping drowsily through the island breezes above their heads. Love obvious in their adoring moonstruck eyes.

Their warmth as they embrace and kiss. Standing so close to each other. Looking into each others eyes like it’s the most precious thing in the world. Naming their future two and a half children after prophets. Taking couple pictures. Matching clothes. Temple dates dinner dates beach days always together. Church together. Cuddle together. Movies together.

Never alone except together.

Raw suffering.

To not have him by my side.

To not wake up to a text message “La plus belle personne que Dieu a fait” with a snail emoji we named Mr. Fabulous.

To not be debating with each other about things like the eighth deadly sin: eating ice cream without sprinkles or who was better-looking werewolves or vampires. Excuse me, werewolves because who doesn’t like hot chocolate. Ahem.

And that one time he introduced a pumpkin to me as his wife and then proceeded to play football with their first child together and smash it’s head off but wait that one’s not mine so it’s okay. No it’s not okay your wife was watching! No really, it’s not her kid either. I cried laughing. He tended to do that to me a lot.

To not be asking him what kind of music he liked or following his choir concerts. Wishing him luck before his games I couldn’t make it to, asking if he was okay afterwards. Promising to bake him snickerdoodles sometime because those are his favorite.

To not be sharing the darkest secrets of my life some of those hard nights. The truth about why I never wanted to go home. Starvation. Abuse. Rape. Depression. PTSD.

All words he learned about, for me. He was doing football and mission prep and family AND he researched how to be the best friend a girl like me needed.

Tears drip down my face when noone’s watching. He says it’s not weakness to cry but I still won’t cry in front of him.

Our song’s on the radio but it doesn’t sound the same.

His face is on my mind but not before my eyes.

His voice is in my heart but I can’t hear it from his lips.

His embrace is a memory that’s faded as life has gotten harder and harder and honestly I just miss my boy. I want to be back in his arms where I was safe, where it was okay to not be so strong because my boy had me and nothing could hurt me when I was with my linebacker.

It’s not butterflies and crushes type of love. It’s Mahana Tama love.

I’ll love him until he comes back. I’ll always love him. Even if we are never together again our friendship will remain with us. Maybe someday I will love someone else but if so I hope he’s like him.

People call me Queen. They call him King.

My friends knew months before I did that I, the self-proclaimed man-hater, had fallen hard for the last person I could have imagined. Blindsided by the friendship that was… something else.

I want my tall,strong, sweet, protective, loyal, charming, ridiculously handsome Hawaiian Samoan quarterback back. I want #16 back. Because next time I see that sucker forget hugs and handshakes I’m going to tackle him so hard I hope I knock him clean over. I don’t care how hard I bounce off because he’s twice my size, I just want my best friend back, I love him and I want him to know it. How much it hurts.

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