Jodi Lewchuk lives and writes in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her deeply personal storytelling and self-portraits explore the vulnerability, and bravery, of the human heart.

Letters to Lovers: The Hunter {5/6}

Letters to Lovers: The Hunter {5/6}

—Series inspired by Mary-Louise Parker's captivating Dear Mr. You

With you, X, I've gone right back to the beginning. .

"Dangerous." It was the word that rushed to mind when I first laid eyes on you. 

That seems a bit funny to me now because you have been — you are — exactly that, but not at all in the way I originally imagined. In fact, an enduring image I carry of you is from moments after we met. You are sitting beside me after having just paid me a rather lovely compliment; your eyes are cast downward and there is a smile you can't quite suppress tugging at the corners of your mouth. That's when I realized: For all your authority, assurance, and swagger, you're actually a bit shy, aren't you?

Goddamn it if that didn't make me fall harder. 

No, the danger lay in your ability to focus with such intensity and precision; it made me feel singular. You layered your attention on me so that I was left breathless under your gaze. You seized on details about me that others often overlook. You savoured my mind. You used certain words for me in a way that made me believe they had been invented solely for that purpose. You found your way past the Cerberus of my self and flung the gates wide open. Then there was the way you touched me, so that every single point of contact seared with heat, as if you were branding me in claim. And god. More. It's what I was always left wanting. Showing, feeling, knowing, taking, learning, giving, surrendering, experiencing, receiving, yielding, offering, doing — more, more, more. 

And perhaps that compelled me most of all: the capacity of the space you inhabit. So much of your self you keep protected. But I get up close and look much deeper than many, and maybe for the first time ever, I couldn't see boundaries. There was a vastness to you I could imagine myself exploring infinitely, wanting to chart territories that no one else has known to or dared to explore. I wanted to find the parts of you that glittered, but also the parts lying broken in some dark corner. I wanted it all. I wanted to give all in return. And I believed we had that kind of potential — to show each other realms yet unknown. 

Was I intuitive, knowing, and prescient? Or was I deluded, naive, and half (or fully) out of my mind? A strong case could probably be made either way. 

But somewhere under that loud debate about my (in)sanity, I could hear it — the voice speaking from an interior place, a voice of pure, unadulterated instinct. I've ignored that voice before, let it be drowned out, at my own peril. So this time I listened to it. It told me that I am the kind of woman who chooses and creates her own destiny. That I am the kind of woman who never wants to look back and regret chances not taken. That I am the kind of woman worth taking chances for. And if I truly believe what I say I've learned, that limitations are self-imposed and anything at all is possible, than this was, too. Would it be easy? Fuck, no. Not in the least. No. But there are a thousand and one proverbs that tell us nothing truly worth having is. So I decided to believe that it could be.

And here's what's supposed to happen: When someone has risen like the Phoenix from the ashes of her past; when she has gone deeply enough inside of herself to sit in the centre of her pain and anger and transcend them; when she has been quiet enough and determined enough and strong enough to find out who she really is; when she is drawn powerfully to someone while in her most authentic skin; when that someone infiltrates not just her mind, not just her body, and not just the far-flung corners of the energy field that is what I imagine we call the soul but all of those things together, she leaps. And because she leaps with courage from a place of such fortitude and faith, the net is supposed to appear. 

Except this is life. And life isn't fair and it doesn't follow rules or logic much of the time — if ever. If I've learned anything at all in my 43 years on this planet it's that life never, ever goes the way we think it might or think it should. So there was no net. There was no fanfare. No music played. No chorus sang. 

There was nothing but the sound of shattering — of heart, of hope, of possibility, of silence; take your pick — after you told me why you couldn't and wouldn't say "Yes" and join me midair in that soaring leap. 

Maybe with more time I will come to understand some bigger meaning in all this, meaning that escapes me now because the want and the ache and the longing is still too brutally and punishingly close. But if I had to guess at what gift I might have been given having gone down this road with you, here's what I think it is:

I think you made me brave in a way I never had been before. For you, I stripped away all the layers and ornamentation and simply asked for what I really wanted and offered up a possibility of a future in no uncertain terms. For you, I laid every single thing that I am — All of Me — on the line and asked you to choose me. I was that direct. I said, "Choose me." It was fucking terrifying. And one day I think I will look back and realize that it was also remarkably empowering. Even though the answer was "No." 

Sometimes I imagine twenty years from now and wonder if you'll ever think of me. If I'll ever think of you. If I will still see you every time I look up into the darkness at seven specific stars. I hope so. There's a line from a poem you might recall that I very much want to be true: "I was here. Remember me." 

Actually, you have a much more important task than just remembrance. I asked you to promise me something when my heart was at its most broken. I asked you to promise me that in some other place, in some other lifetime, in some other dimension, we'd get everything right for being together. Perhaps foolishly, you agreed. So this is what I need you to do: I need you to burrow that promise into the very atoms you're made from. I need you to fuse it to your elemental core. I need you to know it well enough that you will recognize it anywhere, in any form. 

Because, X, I have made it part of my cosmic blueprint. I will search for you and I will find you one day in that other plane, in that other world. And when I do, I have every intention of collecting on that promise. 


Letters to Lovers: The Self {6/6}

Letters to Lovers: The Self {6/6}

Letters to Lovers: The Twin {4/6}

Letters to Lovers: The Twin {4/6}