“To my sweet daughter,
If you ever begin to wonder if he is the one, ask yourself:
Does his laughter warm your body from the inside out? He knows that when you say two scoops you really mean three, right? Do you dance in his living room while drinking cheap wine? I hope so, and I hope you’re both drunk and terrible and laughing so hard you cry. Does he tell you how beautiful you are, and if yes, does he say it when the morning light falls upon your face? More importantly, when he tells you, do you believe him? Can you cry in front of him? I hope you can, that means you trust him. When it’s pouring rain does he know that if your hair is curled or your eyes are sad that means he should get the car and bring it to you? When he asks what you want for dinner and you say you aren’t hungry, does he ask if you’ve eaten today? And when you say you had breakfast, I hope he knows you don’t eat breakfast, and makes you a bowl of rice, because that’s your favorite comfort food. Does he kiss you good morning? Good night? Just because? Do you know he likes his coffee black? Unless he wants it cooled, then he will probably want some milk in it, but not too much. Do you know when he prefers tea to coffee? I never quite figured that out with your father, so if you have, you’re a better woman than I. Have you figured out where he’s ticklish? Don’t let him convince you he’s not, I promise you he is. Have you frustrated the hell out of him yet? You will, oh you will, but it’s how you two come out of it that matters. And when he said he loved you for the very first time, did you respond by asking if he’s afraid of heights? I hope with my entire soul that he said yes because that means, despite his fear, he fell for you. Now, darling, you tell me, is he the one?”
“Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know everything happens for a reason.”
“It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the sound I heard when I was 9 and my father slammed the front door so hard behind him I swear to god it shook the whole house. For the next 3 years I watched my mother break her teeth on vodka bottles. I think she stopped breathing when he left. I think part of her died. I think he took her heart with him when he walked out. Her chest is empty, just a shattered mess or cracked ribs and depression pills.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s all the blood in the sink. It’s the night that I spent 12 hours in the emergency room waiting to see if my sister was going to be okay, after the boy she loved, told her he didn’t love her anymore. It’s the crying, and the fluorescent lights, and white sneakers and pale faces and shaky breaths and blood. So much blood.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the time that I had to stay up for two days straight with my best friend while she cried and shrieked and threw up on my bedroom floor because her boyfriend fucked his ex. I swear to god she still has tear streaks stained onto her cheeks. I think when you love someone, it never really goes away.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the six weeks we had a substitute in English because our teacher was getting divorced and couldn’t handle getting out of bed. When she came back was smiling. But her hands shook so hard when she held her coffee, you could see that something was broken inside. And sometimes when things break, you can’t fix them. Nothing ever goes back to how it was. I got an A in English that year. I think her head was always spinning too hard to read any essays.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s that I do.”
“They asked me what I loved most about my life. I smiled, and said you.”
“Nothing can wear you out like caring about people.”