You asked me today what I'd learned about myself in writing this proposal. I answered as best I could at the time, and I answered honestly. But there is more and it terrifies me, and frankly I think I'm justified in being frightened. I'm pretty open and vulnerable at the moment.
First, I proposed a short-term arrangement, thinking I could divide myself from the reality of your imminent departure. I've told you I don't want to hold you back, and I don't. But I'm not looking forward to you leaving either. Why I was ever non-chalant about having you here one day and gone the next is beyond explanation. I miss you from weekend to weekend as it is. We are there in the same building for five days. I don't see you and I pine to the point that emails like last week's happen. So my assuming that the proposal was ever feasible for either of us... Yeah, I can't tell you why. Denial happens.
Second, I realized that you are not a passing fancy. I came to see that during the hours I waited for your response. Where did you come from, Empedocles? We climbed a couple of mountains together. We were friends. We are friends. And then that hike to Stewart Falls I crossed the river to be with you and found that ever since that's exactly where I want to be whenever possible. And as that crazy hiking party drove through the microburst and you called me... I walked into that Mexican restaurant and knew that meteorology had opened a portal to some other-worldly realm I'd thought was sealed off forever. Now I know that not only will you leave someday, I will also struggle to find a way to re-secure that door once you are gone.
Third, I've become acutely aware how much your friendship means to me and the prospect of losing it is entirely unsettling.
Fourth, if it weren't completely unlikely, and 100% selfish I would want you to stay and wait for me to finish my degree too, and then who knows. Even now, I want you to come back here in ten years when I'm less encumbered. And I will follow you to Nepal, or wherever we decide to go—Hawaii, the Uintas, the world. All I need is the ability to write, people to help, mountains to climb, a little music to dance to, and a fire to keep me warm.
I realized in writing that email that if there were any possible way, I want to be your girl.