Ode to LA LA Land ***spoilers warning

The moment in LA LA Land when Mia walked into Seb’s club, five years after the night they said goodbye because despite the love their timing wasn’t right because love isn’t enough and I hate that it isn’t enough, guts me.

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The look in Mia’s eyes when she sees Seb used her design for the club’s logo then walks downstairs with her husband and Seb sees her and starts playing their song and we glimpse all they could have been if only…

I hovered in the air with their breath in the underground club because it made me think of you and our what if. What if you let yourself love me enough to release that part of your mind that made a vow to marry a different kind of girl. What if instead of doing what you thought was right you did what felt good? When I met you you were living a life safe between the double lines in a lane and I took your hand and helped you skip over the faux barrier, and we enjoyed freedom because loving someone for real is freedom.

Freedom to be yourself, to be your whole messed up self and be seen and loved and I gave you that. I saw you kept secrets and I let you because I didn’t know your secret was it didn’t matter you loved me because loving me was a truth with an expiration date.

Even though I sat at the table with your parents and shared dinner and holidays. And even though your father kissed me on the lips and his lips felt so similar to yours, soft and gentle, it stunned me because maybe you’d be kissing me when you were that old, too but that was the lie. Then your mother hugged me and smiled a warm welcoming smile. We even got mail sent to your house with both our names. Little did I know my expiration date was nearing.

My replacement was young, blonde, and gave you three kids and walks with you down the lane not knowing it was me who planted the garden she tends in your back yard or it was my idea to put those long windows in the living room, or it was my face in the frame that keeps your picture pressed in place.

I let myself dream along the shared heartbreaking dream with Mia what would life have been like with you? because at one point I wanted this lifetime with you.

And when we were no longer together, but not yet friends like we had been for years, before we were more, you invited me to your birthday party. And I came with a smile and your favorite cookies gift wrapped and saw how she slipped in next to you and I wanted to be nice, I did everything to be nice, but I saw my picture replaced in the frame and you laughed in embarrassment and moved it to a place I wouldn’t see, and I thanked her when she handed me a drinking glass from the cupboard I used to reach into wearing a t-shirt and panties and I had to turn away because she didn’t know we ever dated. Throughout the party I did my best not be too close to you, but there you were, at my side and it hurt so much I didn’t think I could be your friend.

Then you confessed you messed up. And I saw it in your eyes that I became one of the secrets inside you, but some of our secrets were hers now and I had to let you go. You took her to Hawaii and proposed and I fell in love with someone else. Years went by and my life took me across the country and you are still in that same house.

Then Seb finishes playing their song and I know how Mia feels. There are so many could’ve beens and almosts in life. It made me miss you.

The movie ended. I follow Mia’s lead and take my husband’s hand and catch the breath that’s been hovering in glorious color, wrapped in jazz, and live my life knowing it’s okay to let you have that piece of my heart and I’m okay being your secret.

 

 

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