This month we are featuring the love letter series.our last letter Abby Mallettwill never forget the first woman who captured her heart.
This is a love letter to you, yes, and a love letter to myself.
I was 31 and lost. Every aspect of my life seemed like a failure. My retail job kept me under constant stress. My home life was quietly unhealthy — my mother and I were a bonded pair. Her mother was my main relationship because I was her emotional support. And romantic life? What? My first kiss was when I was 24, and when I told her mother about it, her mother suddenly burst into tears and said, “I thought you were saving yourself for marriage!” said. That was the beginning and end of having a boyfriend of sorts. It felt like the walls were stopping me in every direction I turned. I wanted to finally meet her husband. My knight in shining armor, he will keep me away from everything.
That’s until I met you.
Growing up in a non-denominational Christian church gives you two instructions: to wait and trust God. Wait for who God has for you and trust God to come for you. In the meantime, don’t talk about the deeper feelings you have. Do not doubt your faith. No need to question your sexuality. I can only say that I was asleep before I met you. Meeting you was like waking up with my eyes open for the first time. you black woman i am a black woman I never thought I would realize I was queer at 31. But given my upbringing, it makes sense. I was taught to be quiet and obedient. To honor my father and mother. I held back my emotions for too long.
I worked at a store in the suburbs and you were the store manager in the city. I filled it in at your store one day in June. Everything changed when we met. you showed up — no, embodied — wearing a dress that looks like it’s floating in the sun shining through the window. Your long braid changed with every step. You didn’t seem to care in the world. This was before I understood your confidence, your easy connection with people, and the intensity of your gaze. You are beautiful.
That day, I asked you to speak privately, wondering if you could help me find my career direction. looked at me like Were present And that my existence is important and profound. I described a previous interview that didn’t go well. “What happened?” you asked. I stumbled upon my own words and found my faults. “No, no,” you said. I immediately burst into tears. Before that, I lived a small life tiptoeing around the world without paying attention to my over-spaced body or superfluous-looking personality. You looked into my eyes and said I was beautiful. No one ever called me beautiful. No one stopped looking at me or asked me deep questions. I got used to being invisible, so walking through walls became a hobby. You called my name and it made me strong.
My soul was on fire during that one hour talk. I was almost afraid to touch surfaces in case the fire consumed them. I didn’t know enough about you. I wanted to block the gap between the two with my body. Later in the day someone prepared a pot of brownies during the break. As you passed by, I said they were a taste of love.
In the past, if you asked me if it was love at first sight, I would laugh condescendingly and tell you to control your emotions. After meeting you, I felt like love was the only option. Falling for you was the leap I’ve been waiting to take my whole life, even though there was pain on the other side.
Still, I can’t explain what we had as a relationship. We spoke on the phone many times over the next year. We met each other when I visited your store or you visited mine. I savored those moments and you affirmed that our connection wasn’t just in my head. As I struggled to make sense of the million new emotions surrounding being queer, I put all my eggs in your basket.
I fell apart when I realized we weren’t meant to end together. Love, or what I thought was love, broke me down, but it was part of the process. It helped me ask myself questions until I finally figured out the truth. I’m a queer woman who doesn’t need to apologize for the space she occupies.
Years have passed and I still want to know you are well. Reserved for you while the space in my heart grows to accommodate more love There is always a designated room, and the door is open, so you can move freely as you please.
Abby Mallett is a freelance writer and editor. Joy the BakerYou can find her hiding in her Chicago home surrounded by plants and crystals. Follow her Instagramif you please.
PS Nine movies and shows with our favorite gay characters, how I travel as a fat queer black woman.
(Illustration provided by: Abbey loss for Cup of Joe)