Write me down, he said. He was accidentally poetic, as he so often is, but this time I pointed it out. I walk around most of my nights and days in poetry, and it felt good not to be alone. He wants to be a writer, not realizing that much of our conversations—written and otherwise—is some of his most brilliant work.
Write me down, he said. But I don’t know if I’m brave enough to actually say to him what I want and need to. He’s at least half of my bravery. We met at my absolute worst and still he chose to keep me. He saw the real me, a horrible mess, pretending to be my best, and still sat in a small town front yard and talked football and we had a couple beers. We still haven’t stopped talking. Others take credit for us—whatever that means—and I suppose we just let them. I know he’s the reward for everything bad I survived. He’s the answer to the question why.
Write me down, he said. I’ve wanted to ask him not to leave countless times. I’ve wanted to stay every single time I HAVE left. I rarely touch him because I know once I start I probably won’t stop. He is the definition of friendship. The definition of respect. Of fun. Of composure. Of humor. Of bravery. He is the definition of love.
Write me down, he said. This is the scariest and maybe most exciting time in both of our lives. I’ve learned to let go, but I kept him. Our relationship has changed over the past seven years, and although it’s scary to think I might lose him one day, I learned it’s possible to trust another person again. Not in a single day, but in a thousand days and a million ways. I guess I gave him little tests early on, which was unfair and immature and had nothing to with him. But I stopped quickly because he never once failed. We both have no idea where exactly we’re going or how we’ll get there, but if my life doesn’t end up with me sitting on a front porch with him or taking a random vacation, then I have not lived right.
Write me down, he said. I don’t know how. Words have power. Sometimes I say too many; in his case I say too few. Things changed a few years ago, but not in a bad way. I miss it sometimes, but I proved to myself that no matter what, he’s my best friend. He’s my Person. For everything that means and adds to my life, I can adjust. I’ll lose sleep and secretly cry, but I can adjust.
Write me down, he said. He’s a North Star. Not just for me, but in a chaos-filled life like mine and his—although most don’t know about his—we all need one. He is why I love compasses. Directions don’t change. So while he overanalyzes and stresses out and thinks I don’t know the occasional internal meltdowns and aching loneliness he feels, I’m just praying and hoping the Universe reminds him that I’m a short drive away, and there’s nothing music and a drive or a nap can’t temporarily fix for us.
Write me down, he said. Maybe it’s the Miranda Lambert playing. Maybe it’s because he’s leaving soon and I’m beside myself trying to figure out—selfishly—how I’m going to function on a daily basis. He has filled nearly every need I didn’t know I had. I have never been prouder to know a man, never been more comfortable or felt safer in anyone’s presence. I’ve never understood myself more than I do through his eyes and questions. For a woman who has lived this life I’ve been given, that’s the most important kind of feeling, and it’s not one anyone else has been able to provide. Words have power, and so does he. Thankfully he uses his for good.
Write me down, he said. If I could only say one sentence about him it would be this: the best, most loving word I know is Ace.