He remembers the exact moment he fell for her. She was the center of the attention at a party and he just had to know her. And when he got closer he saw the beauty that was deep down in the depths of her soul radiating out of her like an undeniable beam of light. She was physically attractive yes, but it was her very being that made her captivating. And he was for all intents and purposes captivated by her.
When he finally did get her alone, he knew the exact reason why he needed to meet her. She was here to save him from all of the doubt that he been gripping him over the past year. He had been through hell and back and she was going to be the one to drag him out of the depths of his desolation. He remembers everything about that night. The way she smelled of flowers. The way his fingertips buzzed when their hands accidentally touched. And that first kiss, the sweetness that made his mouth water. He could never replicate those feelings again with another person.
But like all fairy tales, slowly, things started to unravel. Not his love for her, no, because that wasn’t going anywhere, but his feelings of being enough. His feelings of being able to be there when she needed him. He saw it in the way she looked at him sometimes that there was something missing. Something he couldn’t ever quite put his finger on. He wondered if he was just holding her back from being who and where she needed to be.
That wasn’t the only thing. His beautiful, delicate flower had a dark, deep seeded pain that she wouldn’t tell him about. It was so dark that even when he went there, she would burst out in fits of rage. Rage that would scare him. Rage that would make him question what exactly those cards are that she’s holding so close to her chest. He wanted to know but was also too nervous of that knowledge at the same time.
Slowly but surely he started to lose his grip on her. She started to retreat for days. He’d often find her alone in her bed and wonder what had caused her to use her blankets as a shield. He wondered about the long standing appointment she had once a week at 4 pm on Thursdays. He always wondered but never asked. He had faith that she would open up to him in time and it would all make sense.
And he would be there for her. Always. Because in those moments where she felt weakest, he was there to hold her hand. He was her guiding light in her never ending darkness. Even though he didn’t know what was going on, he didn’t care. All he knew was that he loved her. He loved her despite the fact that she pushed him away. He loved her despite all of the times she would burst out in anger and accuse him of things he never did. He loved her because he knew in his heart he had to love her.
It was getting harder. Every day a new issue. Every day something he was doing wrong. Every day he just wanted the girl he met at the party back. The girl that was carefree. The girl who didn’t feel like she was tied to him. The girl who just wanted to see the world. The girl who was always happy and never worrying. He just wanted to know what had changed. What he had done to her. Even though logically he knew it wasn’t him.
He doesn’t know when exactly he lit the match held it to the gasoline that was already all over their relationship. He met someone else who made him forget the problems that were waging a war on him internally. He doesn’t remember when that new woman whispered sweet nothings in his ear and made him feel those butterflies again. He doesn’t remember when he crossed the line either.
He does remember standing outside of the house, wondering how he was going to tell her he had made a mistake. Or how to tell her that he wasn’t happy anymore. He does remember telling his her that he was leaving though. He remembers seeing it in her face that her heart was shattering right in front of him. He had made a decision that this wasn’t for him anymore. And it didn’t make him bad, it made him human. He had put up with the secrets, the pain, and the depression for too long.
And many people blamed him for the downward spiral she was on after that. They thought it was because of what he had done to her that made her hate herself so much but that wasn’t it. Because she had all of those problems when he met her. She had all of her secrets and all of her emotional baggage that she tucked away in a part of her brain she planned on never unpacking.
Maybe he wasn’t strong enough. Maybe he wasn’t what she needed. Maybe he needed to let her go because she needed to find herself. It didn’t change the love. The love he was always going to feel for her. The love that even now he still feels in his loneliest hours, wondering if he made a mistake. But he didn’t. And when he saw her again, in a one off chance on a random street, and they spoke, he saw it. He saw that he had done her a favor.
And that was enough for him to know that even when you love someone, sometimes you do really have to let them go. No matter how much it hurt. No matter how much he wanted to fight it. He did the best thing for both of them. And that was the way that their fairy tale was meant to end.