She found him when she wasn’t looking. When she was walking down the stream of life, she looked beside here and there he was, drifting along, same as she was. Only he seemed to be vibrating. As if he was experiencing anything and everything that life had to offer and life wasn’t holding anything back. When she met him, she discovered that he was not just one person and he was not living just one life. He was hundreds of different people, living thousands of different lives, experiencing millions of different things. He had bits and pieces of everyone he loved and everyone who loved him inside and he was so damn beautiful. He wasn’t much to look at, but to think about? She could spend days on end just thinking about him. And so she fell, giving pieces of herself and pieces of her life to add to his. Never stopping to wonder if he felt the same, but do not fear, for he did.
The first time she noticed him, he left all of his friends to sit with the kid no one cared to talk to. The first time he noticed her was when she gave a speech to the school about how important it is to love yourself and to save someone, even if it’s just you. No one else listened that day, but he did.
She knew she liked him when he gave his textbooks to a girl whose parents simply could not afford it. He borrowed someone else’s for the rest of the year. He knew he liked her when she forgave the boy who broke her heart without thinking. She shouldn’t have, he didn’t deserve it, but she did it nonetheless.
They knew they loved each other when they looked into the other’s eyes and saw themselves. Better. Brighter. Stronger.
She knew he would break her heart the day he told her he was dying. The damn chemo treatments didn’t work and the cancer no one knew he had began to spread from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. He knew he would break his own heart the day he saw the light fade from her eyes. She couldn’t bear the thought of him leaving and he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her.
He broke her heart the day he left. No warning, no goodbye, just an empty body with nothing left to love. And the pieces of her were still with him. Pieces she would never get back, pieces she didn’t want back because they were his, wholly and completely. Her heart began to ache less when she saw bits of him in the people that he loved. In the people that loved him. His friends were kind and his mother was strong and she shined with a light that could only be given when one had seen real, true love. He had left, but he was not gone. Pieces of him were still in the world, leaving a trail of goodness wherever they went. And she was determined to show the world that the boy she loved was not gone, and would never be.
The pieces of the people we love are with us always. We are not one person, but a million. We are every person we’ve ever loved and who has loved us stitched together and held inside a body that is meant to live more than just one life. Go live it.