The Message For My Ex I’ll Never Send

I sit watching the curser flicker at the start of an empty text message, the light from my phone lighting up my face in this dark room.

I have what feels like a lifetime of words to say, but I don’t even have the guts to type the word “hello”.

Our silence is deafening. We’ve let too much time tick. The distance between us has grown like cancer, one big tumour of what was once love.

I think about picking up the phone and letting it ring but logically I know you wouldn’t pick up… I’m not your person anymore, just some girl whose contact sits in your phonebook that you scroll past.

I push away the thought that my side of your bed belongs to someone else now, and the burning urge to tell you all the things I’ve left unsaid.

What would I even start with?

I miss you?

I could scream from the rooftops that I miss you. And, oh god, do I miss you. I miss you so much it aches like a broken bone that’s set wrong.

Do I tell you you’re the first name I think of every morning before I open my eyes, and every night before I drift off? That there’s a hollow you-shaped space at the bottom of my ribs that pangs when it remembers your smile, your eyes, your hands, your aftershave, or the way you’d pout when you’d tease me? The way my head fit on your chest, the way you’d call me ‘darling’, your stupid brown shoes, or how you’d whip out your camera to capture just about anything?

That black dress I wore on our third date haunts me from inside my closet. I’ve packed or thrown away the things you gave me, archived our messages, and closed the album on our happiest memories to escape the pain.

I hate you?

Do I tell you that you cheating and walking away ruined us, and completely destroyed me? I hate you for making me fall with no intention of catching me. You lied to make yourself feel better, and told the truth to cure your guilt. I hate you for making me feel like I’m not worthy of being loved, that I’m not good enough.

How is it that I don’t cross your mind? I hate you can live for more than one day, a year and even a decade without me. I hate that not even one percent of you could fight for us. I hate that we’re strangers. I hate that you broke me and let me piece it all back together on my own. That when I told you to get out of my life because I was hurting, that you listened. Mostly, I hate that you can love her and not me.

I still have hope?

The problem with growing up with Disney movies is that makes you believe Prince Charming will always come back. That he’ll wake up one morning and be accountable for the error of his ways. I have hope that you’ll see the light. Show up at my door, write me a letter, swoop in just when I need you. I fantasize about it sometimes as I turn the corner towards my house, or when I get off the plane and walk through arrivals past other people’s smiling boyfriends, or when I walk out the revolving door of my office. The truth is you know exactly where to find me… you just don’t want to.

You’re not Prince Charming… you’re my villain.

I read somewhere that we obsess about the relationship that don’t feel like they’re finished. Maybe that’s all this is… Maybe you are just an addiction I need to overcome, the crack I don’t need that lost it’s high a long time ago.

I’m scared?

Life without you is a big void of unknown and open questions. I wander through life, trying to forget the plans and dreams I unknowingly attached to you as I try to make new memories that don’t involve you. My friends don’t remember you. You didn’t leave a lasting impression on them the way you did me. I no longer search for you in other people. I’m consciously moving on.

I’m not the same girl you left?

I’ve changed and evolved. You broke my heart but you didn’t break my spirit. I’ve almost rebuilt everything you destroyed. I’ve healed. I’m moving on… slowly… but I feel I’ve got the head start and you’re somewhere far behind. But your presence is a ghost, a loss, a wound that’s scabbed over and healed with just a faint pink mark left behind.

I love you?

One of the real tragedies is that I only realised I really loved you until after you’d left. I knew I cared for you, and you were someone special, but the moment I realised you weren’t coming back was the moment the big ‘I love you’ went off like a flashing neon sign above my head. I should have understood my feelings sooner. Told you how much you meant to me, how you felt like home… But you know what they say about hindsight?…

The truth?

The truth is… I have a million feelings with your name labeled on all of them. Your words echo in my head that I wish you’d kept to yourself and my questions remain unanswered. Logically, I know I deserve better, and you don’t deserve me at all. Despite hoping that one day you’d prove me wrong.

And so here I sit, watching the cursor flicker at the start of my unwritten message. I let out one big sigh, watch the blank white screen and your name in bold for three more seconds, click the lock button on my phone and roll over for another night’s sleep alone in my king-sized bed.

I run marathons.

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