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All I had were questions. What did I want? What would bring me happiness? What would fill the aching void in my chest? Was it even achievable? And — what if I was wrong? What if ‘a person’ wasn’t the answer? All I had were my doubts and my depression. All I had was a deep hole I was trapped in, and the desperate hope that the right person could pull me out.

You were supposed to be the answer. I wanted you and your love, you would bring me happiness, you would fill the aching void in my chest. And no, I wasn’t wrong at all. You were just the person I needed, because, in those brief moments where I could hold you in my arms and press you close to me, I could forget the rest of the world and I could believe that you would always be there and I would never want for love ever again. When I was with you, I was happy at a depth I hadn’t known in years. You were supposed to be the one that could erase all the fear and all the sadness forever.

And then you weren’t. It wasn’t me; you still liked me, more than as just a hookup, you insisted. If circumstances had been better, it could have worked, you assured. We could still be the best of friends; we could still even spend nights in bed together if that’s what I wanted (was it?). But a real relationship was out of the question. You were too busy; you had too many classes, your friends wanted too much from you, you wanted too much from Princeton, and there wasn’t enough left for me. You weren’t ready to date; you didn’t want the pressure and complexity, you weren’t in the mindset to be making commitments, you didn’t want to look that far into the future. It didn’t matter why. All that mattered was that every moment with you was merely a mirage, an illusion of a future that would never exist.

Why? The question burned, and every stumbling step towards an answer brought a hundred more. First, it was blame, as anger lashed outwards. Was it your friend who demanded as much time from you as they could get? Was it your classes and your professors, who demanded perfection in all you did? Was it – heaven forbid – you yourself, and your unready mind?

But those answers would never be satisfactory. One couldn’t erase the circumstances of the past; one couldn’t wish change into existence.

Then it was bitterness, as the blame reached back to me. How did I manage to blow up the perfect situation? Was I too fast, too slow, too loose, too tight? Was it the never-ending self-doubt? Was I so mentally, emotionally destroyed that any relationship would inevitably implode? Were my insecurities unsurmountable, my past inescapable? Was I just unlovable for all the scars I held?

And finally, it was fear. Were you good for me, in the end? Are you good for me? What if this was what finally broke me? What if I’m guarded forever, scarred from you? What if you were the right one, and nobody else will ever live up to it? Will the memory of you become the impossible bar I judge every future relationship against? What if failure, like always, was simply inevitable? Will you be just another name in a long chain of sadness? Should I just give up, forever, and consign myself to a lifetime of unhappiness?

All I have are questions.

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