8 Lies I Told You
When we first started dating, we were in your bed and you had just kissed me for the first time. You smiled at me and said, in an endearing voice that I hadn’t expected from you, “I really like you.” I didn’t say anything then. I think I smiled. I would later tell you that I really liked you, too. Actually, in the first few weeks, I had already given myself a timeline to break up with you.
That one day I got mad at you, I don’t even remember why now. I met up with you at the track, did one of my dramatic anger-and-exit shows, and walked away from you just as you were about to begin track practice. I went to the park, knowing full well that you would know that was where I would be. I pretended to be surprised when you ditched track practice and came to find me at the park instead. You held me close. I said, “Babe, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know you would leave practice for me.” You hugged me tighter and said, “Anything for you.” I knew you would leave practice. It was a power play. It worked.
We went on a walk once. It was in August and it was dark, so I expect it was after one of my meetings. We were walking together and I told you that I didn’t believe in love. We were dating then. You didn’t say anything to that, and just let me talk. I talked about not believing in love, arranged marriages, and a lot of other quite negative things in relation to us. I didn’t mean any of it. I was trying to sound detached. I still worry, even now that it does not matter anymore, that you believed me.
I love your passion. I think it was one of the things that made me absolutely fall for you between the time when I created a timeline to break up and the point where I was trying so hard to save our relationship. I always told you that I didn’t have a passion because I told you once that my passion was people, and you seemed to brush that aside because it wasn’t tangible, it wasn’t concrete enough. I couldn’t bear sounding silly or stupid to you when I was actually being so serious. I told you after that that I had no passion, but my passion during that time was actually us.
It was raining and we were at the park. Naturally, we were alone. We chased each other around the swings and under the play structures, until we ended up with me cornered by you against three plastic walls under one of the larger slides. I can honestly say I have never since experienced the kind of love that seemed to emanate from your being every time I was with you. You said, “I love you.” I brushed that away, laughing, as if you were joking, as if I was just playing around with you. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that was one of the biggest lies I acted out. I don’t think I’ve ever loved anyone the same since you.
I told you near the end that I felt like there was nothing to talk about anymore. In reality, I was afraid I was too invested in you, in us, and I thought I was allowing myself to be tied down too soon. I told you that it just didn’t feel right anymore. Truth is it felt too right, and I pulled away from you because I couldn’t accept you as my this-is-it then.
A couple of weeks before we broke up, you kept telling me that you had no time, that you were too busy, and I said it was fine, that we could make it work. I gave you the easiest terms I could think of — meeting once a week for an hour, at the very least. You said that wasn’t a relationship. I knew that. I just didn’t want to lose you. I don’t know how you were so okay with losing me. When you said that wasn’t a relationship, I felt then that you didn’t care enough to make it work. Simultaneously, I could never be anything to you other than in the context of a relationship. But I said okay. When we broke up, I told you that I hoped we would be friends. We can’t be friends. Acquaintances, maybe, but never friends, because we both deserve the chance to completely move on and find new happiness.
Last week, you asked me about my weekend plans. You answered your own question, saying that I was probably going skydiving or something fun like that. I smiled as if in agreement. In all honesty, I’ve all but become a hermit. I cancelled my plans for that weekend and have refused to enter into other “fun” plans since. I’m spending my time reading, writing, and rediscovering my focus. I think you considered me frivolous, and that is something I associate with the current you, something I cannot accept. I’m becoming better and I’m leaving the you that is not mine, the current you, but I will dwell on my you fondly.
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Shannon is the best kept secret of the 80s!
Scott Hoy is a lawyer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. On this particular commercial however, Hoy perhaps should have asked for a retrial.
You split time between the now and after.
I truly believe that tolerance is dangerous.