Once upon a time, there were two girls. They talked. They listened. They dreamed. They laughed. They fell in love.
Their love started with poetry. They sat beneath a tree, looked out over a lake, and wondered—wondered if every day could be that good. The words they shared with each other opened up worlds.
“Insane,” the girl said.
“What is?”, the other responded.
In a letter written weeks later, the girl writes “while I now wish I’d been able to think of a more pretentiously positive adjective than ‘insane,’ I couldn’t believe that word more strongly than I do...”
When it came time to say goodbye to their separate world, saying goodbye to each other was the hardest part. Everything and everyone else froze for an instant. For a fleeting moment everything was perfect—motionless.
No, perfect isn’t the right word.
What’s the word for realizing that you’ll never be able to find the vocabulary to tell the person you love how much you really do love them? Or the word for searching through all the moments—both big and small—you've had with someone just to try to pick the right one, for the right time, for the right goodbye? Or the word you say later when you apologize for not being more articulate when it meant the most? Or the word for a more sincere ‘thank you?’ Or is the word that means more than ‘I love you?’
Is there a word for that?
The answer is: no.
Instead of feeling lost without these words, the girls felt lost without each other.
They stood there, looking at each other, not knowing what would happen next. And they were okay with that.
And so, the two worlds separated, and the distance only grew with time.
They tried to mend the longing for each other with words. Sending letters in the mail was as close as they could get to making their love tangible. On the back of the notes, they would copy poems. ‘Poems that make me think of you,’ the top of the page would say. The name in the top left corner of the envelope they received became the only thing they would think about. They soon found that they got too caught up in words—of all the words in the world, they were afraid that they were using the wrong ones.
Instead of relying on words, the two girls relied on numbers.
Time, life’s greatest constant, was there. Always.
No matter the distance, no matter what, no matter where, the two would make their 11:11 wishes. They promised they would never share their wishes until they came true.
“But what if my wish has the word ‘forever’?”, one girl asked.
“Forever is just a word. It can’t be measured,” the other responded.
Regardless, she wished that she would love the other girl forever because secretly she still believed that the power of words beats that of numbers.
The letters stopped coming as often, and they didn’t check the clock as much as the used to. The wishes became more infrequent; the two hoped their past ones were enough to sustain their love ‘forever.’
Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved a girl.
One day the girl asked: “Why?”
And there was no response.
Because there will never be a word or a number for everything.