My dearest Felicity,
How do I even begin to explain the ways in which I love you? To pinpoint a moment when I loved you most wouldn't do justice to the years our story has spanned. Every moment with you is the moment I love you most.
I love you most at midnight, when we're leaving the foundry after a long night, you tucked under my arm with your arm around my waist. Sometimes in those moments I'm limping and you're scolding me for not taking care of myself. Sometimes it's just peaceful and quiet as we head home. Home. Everywhere with you is home.
I love you most at six a.m., when I'm getting up for my morning run and you're buried in the bedsheets still. Do you know how beautiful you look like that? How can you? Just a mass of blonde sticking out from the pillow in twelve different directions. Twelve. Really. I counted once.
Sometimes you look so perfect like that I even stay in the bed a while longer, pull you into my arms and forget about running. With you I never want to run. You love to cuddle, that was one of the first things I learned about you that I didn't have to look up. Whether it's because you're cold or because you just like being in my arms, you love it.
I love you most at seven a.m., when you're singing in the shower. I never know the songs, but I know you're voice better than I know my own. You sing especially loud when you think I can't hear you, and that's when you sound more perfect. You're not embarrassed by it, even though you can't hit all the notes, but you're so damn adorable I want you to sing forever.
I love you most at seven p.m., when you're cooking dinner and dancing around the kitchen. Barefoot and so much shorter than me. When I come up behind you and hug you against me, your head barely reaches my heart without your heels to bring you up to my shoulder height.
I love you most on Christmas morning, when you wake me with festivity even though you're Jewish. We celebrate both with the same enthusiasm we celebrate each other. That feeling of going to bed on Christmas eve is the same butterflies I feel every time you walk into a room. I tell you every day, but I don't think you'll ever know how beautiful you are.
Don't ever question my love for you. Ever. Even when I'm short of breath or distracted, I will tell you how much I love you.
I just want to be the person who's right for you. Because I wasn't the person you were looking for. I wasn't the man you wanted. I wasn't a single embodiment of anything you needed in a person but somehow I became all of those things. I became the man you love and I will do everything in my power to be that man for the rest of my life.
I'll never be a person who can settle. I'm not made for a nine-to-five job and a steady lifestyle. But I want that with you. I want to quiet my mind, calm the part of me that's on edge, and sink into the world that you offer me because it's more than most men could hope for in a lifetime.
As long as I'm with you there will always be a part of me that wishes I could be softer, calmer, less argumentative, more understanding...but you love me as I am. You tell me that every day. And how can I strive to be anything more than what you love me for?
I wonder a lot how different our lives would be if we had met sooner. If life had been different. If I could have had you five years sooner, or even earlier. I wonder if we had grown up together if we would have fallen so hard. It doesn't matter when we met though, because what I feel for you is out of my control. I waited five years on Lian Yu to come home, to meet you, and I would have waited one hundred, if I'd needed to.
Marrying you was not the end of my freedom. It was the beginning of it.
You are the person I want to dive head first into life with. You know Oliver Queen better than anyone could, because you helped shape the version of myself I was always supposed to become. I want you in every adventure I have, and in every inch of my future. You're the person I want to tell about my day, the person I want to share a glass of wine with before we go off to bed. You're the person who makes /me/ want to dance around the house in my underwear, and let me tell you, I never thought that would be a trait I'd keep up from my college years.
When I'm with you, the whole world feels wide-open to me, I see things clearer than I ever have. After the world took so much away from me, you've given it back to me. My life is good, Felicity, and it's all because of you. Everything is so much better when you're a part of my day.
I even love that we don't always agree. I love how you challenge me. I cherish our three a.m. heated debates as much as I cherish date night. Never stop calling me out when I'm being an ass. I rely on you to know me, to reign me in, to hold me in the palm of your hand. Your fire fuels mine. And you can guarantee that I'll push you right back. I'll never let you settle. I'll always have you thinking better of yourself, wanting more for yourself.
If there's anything I am not worried about, it's us falling apart. The truth is I never fell in love with you anyway; I walked into love without a backwards glance. I chose you from the first day I met you and I promise to keep choosing you. Through every fight, I'll choose you. Through every temptation, I'll choose you. Through every twist and bump in the road that threatens to tear us apart I will choose you with the ferocious certainty I've felt since the first time I ever laid eyes on you, that day when I first met the love of my life chewing a red pen and babbling like a fool. I'm not worried about falling out of love with you because I never fell in. Loving you was a waking, conscious choice and it's one that I'm going to keep making until the day my heart stops beating.
So please, let me have this. Let me have you. Every part of you.
Because I love you. I love waking up face-to-face, or with my face buried in your neck, or with your head on my chest and your hair tickling my nose. Your cute nose, the little indents on either side from where your glasses rest, the curve of your lips and how they part when you snore lightly. I love every part of it. I want to wake up to your peaceful face every morning for the rest of my life.
See, loving you is easy. Telling the world how much I love you is the easiest thing in the world.
These would have been good wedding vows. I know we wrote our own, but I never really had a way with words.
But these should have been wedding vows. Not your eulogy.
I should not be standing here today saying how wonderful you are while knowing that my arms will be empty from this moment on. I will never wake up with you in my arms again. I will never see you dance in the kitchen. Your voice will never echo off the shower walls. My chest is no longer your pillow, even though my heart still beats only for you. The left-hand pillow will be empty, cold, and how do I cope with that?
It's simple. I don't.
People can tell you how to grieve, they can teach you how to move on, but they cannot teach you how to un-love someone. They cannot undo the changes a person has made to your life. Felicity, you are my everything. To know that I can't watch you smile when I say that doesn't break my heart, it shatters it. The only reason I know my heart didn't disappear along with you is because I can feel it hurting so much.
I haven't just lost my wife. I've lost the life you told me we'd have in whispers in the middle of the night. I've lost the future children we swore we'd take on road trips every year. I've lost the cat you threatened to get when I said I wanted a dog. I've lost the sight of you grey and aging gracefully. How can I have that future without you? It was ours. So many things were ours and so many of them are left here without you, like I am.
My greatest regret will be that I couldn't get to you soon enough. It will be my biggest failure, as a man, as a hero, and as a husband.
My only solace comes from knowing that you are no longer in pain. Felicity, my girl Wednesday, my perfect wife, I hope you're at peace. I hope you're not feeling even a fraction of this pain that I feel every day without you here. All I ever wanted was for you to be happy, for you to be safe. I'm so sorry I couldn't give that to you.
I'm so sorry that this world will be that much darker without you in it.
I'll be seeing you soon, Felicity.
All my love,