Going The Distance

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3 AM

(On a phone call)
Man : I love you a lot and I wish you were here with me right now.
Woman : You know, I love you better when you are not with me, when you are really far away. That is when I love you more and sometimes, miss you.
Man : If that is the case then you’ll probably love me the most if I were to move to the other side of this world.
Woman : *Laughs* Yeah, probably yes. Would you? Do that?
Man : Anything to make you happy.

And so, six months after that conversation, I decided to go to Brighton for three years to learn fine arts under a famous artist I had for so long admired and looked up to. Another reason for me to go to Brighton was her, if only she could love me better and not take me for granted the way she does right now, I would have done anything to make that happen. And so I did.

I have held her a lot of times, many times throughout the night and we have had our moments while we sank into each other’s bodies. I left for Brighton, and when I left, I kissed her for the first time.


We wrote each other letters since talking over the phone wasn’t possible all the time and it also put off the whole vibe of me going to the other side of the world for her. I skyped her from time to time whenever she was okay with me video calling her, and she seemed to look prettier every time I did, and everytime I seemed to miss her more.

I would go to a coffee place not far from where I stayed, it looked over a beach. It was the most beautiful view to look at during the winter rains, there was something captivating about the grey skies and the rough sea along with the wet sand. Sitting there by the glass window of the coffee shop, I would write her letters everyday, talking about all that happened the previous day, maybe sketch a bit of the scenery and everything else that was supposed to be said in a letter. It was a bit pricey to write her letters everyday, but I managed just fine without dinner over some nights.


First year went by pretty quick learning more about fine arts, I landed a job under my mentor, helping him with his work and earning a living. I achieved a lot as an artist during this time, I was mentioned in their national newspaper.

Around this time I missed her more than ever. I wanted to go back and hold her in my arms for so long, I wanted to see her face so bad. I wanted to kiss her, feel her lips against mine and then kiss her harder. I missed her smell, it was the smell of cocoa butter with her favourite perfume.

It went from writing her letters daily to writing weekly. I never got enough time since I started working. Even skyping her was something that I did once in a blue moon. At the end of the day I would be so tired I would go off to sleep the moment my body fell on the mattress, forgetting about her.

On my way to the workplace, I travelled through the subway. And everyday there used to be a street side band over there, playing songs, trying to earn an extra buck. They were pretty good, they played some of my favourite artists like John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, The Eagles and so on. I would say that the music almost sounded better along with the noise of the moving trains, it had a different vibe to it.

She told me that she was proud of my achievements in the first two years. She told me that she missed me. And I was vulnerable, I would have come back the second she asked me to. But she never did. Even when I asked her whether she wanted me to come back, she said no every time.

I always knew I was a bit too much, a bit of a bother,  an overthinker. She hated that I thought so much about everything but I never thought she would be able to keep me away for so long, for something so stupid. Just so she could love me better.

There was no pattern to when I received any of her letters, it was random. She wrote when she felt like it, and she rarely felt like it.


By this time, my popularity as an artist grew a lot. My works were on display all over Europe and I lived the way I always wanted to live. I travelled most of Europe by train, visiting the galleries which displayed my work. Throughout my journey I met a lot of people, people who had adventures and stories to tell about, charming and beautiful people who were driven by life. Artists, poets, writers, philosophers, scientists, all sorts of people from every walk of life.

I went from writing letters to her weekly, to writing maybe once or twice a month, telling her all about my life and how mesmerizing it was.

When I returned to Brighton from my tour of Europe, I received a letter from her.

The letter said that she loved me and that she loved me more than ever, so much that it hurt. That she missed me so much, that she wanted to see me again, kiss me again, hold me again and spend everyday with me, in my arms. She wanted me to come back.

I wanted it to hurt, I wanted to cry and I wanted to miss her but I didn’t feel anything, I couldn’t. If only she would have said this a bit sooner, I would have left from here as soon as I read the letter, if only she would have said something, anything a bit earlier.

I wrote back.

I love you, and I always have. But I’m sorry darling, I won’t be coming back. Not for a longtime. You see, I’m here right now and I’m too much in love with this place, the view, the tunes it plays and the people that it has. I’m happy right now and I don’t want to let this go. If only you would have asked me to come back sooner, I would have dropped everything and returned to you. It is different now, I came here for you but now I want to stay here for myself. I hope you understand that this might be the last thing I ever say to you. I love you but I have got to go. This is goodbye.

After writing the last letter, I stared out the cafe window, looking over the beach. It looked as beautiful as ever. I sat there for a while. I was far beyond her reach, or anyone else’s for that matter.

I left for Brighton, and when I left, I kissed her for the last time.