The word I hate the most is ‘almost’.

“I almost got the job.”

“I almost won the race.”

“We were almost perfect.

To me, it represents a lack of something. It reminds me that we were on the cusp of greatness but just failed to reach it. It feels like the biggest failure that ever existed, the worst kind of heartache. To think that we were right there at the edge of glory and you fell short.

When I think of almost, I always dwell on what could have been.

Almost are a different kind of heartache.

The worst kind of relationship to me are not the ones that cheat or lie to you, rather the ones that end before they have even begun. The ones that are filled to the brim with all the unrealized possibilities, the ones that drift off before you have managed to catch a ride. These ‘almosts’ that you stayed up late for, that you were ready to give you heart to but were left holding it in your outstretched hands, forgotten.

Almost are a different kind of heartache. There never seems to be any closure or any reason why something that seemed so perfect simply ended.

You treat each other as more than friends but you are both afraid to take the plunge, maybe it is because you know deep down, they are not meant for you.

I have always believed that if someone loves you nothing can stop them from being with you. No excuse can stop them from being with you.

Almost relationships are painful not because of unrealized potential, but because you know in the crevices and cracks of your heart that you wasted your time.

You are not mourning the end of the relationship, but rather how much time you wasted with someone who was not the one.

You deserve more than almost.

They were intimidated by the love you had to give because knew they would not be able to reciprocate the depth and breadth of your feelings.

Nothing is wrong with you. You are not unlovable, and you are not a pit stop before they find the one.

You deserve more than almost.

Your time was wasted and that is something to be angry about, but do not waste any more time than you need to on the entanglement.

It was not even really a relationship. It was simply flirting.

You deserve a love that does not need to think twice about going all the way with you. Begging someone to make you a priority is not romantic. You should not have to ask for someone’s love.

When you outstretch your heart to someone you should be met with their heart meeting you halfway.

The problem with almost relationships is deciphering what was real and what was not. The promise of forever was so potent, but now all that lingers is the faded scent of a lie. You embroiled yourself so deep in this almost you did not realize all you were to them was the attention they craved.

Forgive yourself for what happened, forgive yourself for the time wasted. Not everyone’s intention is as pure as yours. Do not dwell on the hurt, grow from it, and learn.

Next time, do not settle for, “we were almost perfect” but rather “we are perfect.”

  • Danai Nesta Kupemba

    Danai Nesta Kupemba by nature is a storyteller and a by product of this is her pursuing a Journalism and Media Studies degree Rhodes University. She's published a piece about war and family in Al-Jazeera, and hopes to be an advocate for Africa, by telling African stories. When Nesta isn't satisfying her wanderlust by stalking travel blogs, she's probably watching period drama's or reading Americanah for the thousandth time over.