I know you think you got away with it purely by how you talk to me today. God, even the fact that you think you have the right to talk to me today, years later, as though the deep gaping wounds you left behind healed over without a mark to be seen.
No. You gave me scars. They’re not pretty ones, either — they’re puckered and puffy and people can see them. They see them in the way I always question if I’ve said the right thing, the way I’m always comparing myself to everyone else in the room. The way I have to ask, over and over again: “Am I enough?”
Yeah, you think you got away with it. You walked off into the sunset after assuring me that no, I was not enough, what we had was fun but you needed something real. You said those words to me. You said a lot of words to me.
Did you ever consider that I thought we were real? That maybe, just maybe, by telling me you loved me, you made me think such a thing?
Sure, there were the little digs here and there. The color of my skin, the size of my breasts. You would quiz me on which Billy Joel song was best (note: it’s NOT “Piano Man,” as I learned) and the meaning of certain poems (note: my answer is NEVER correct, as I learned.) I was young and full of hope and I thought this was the way it was supposed to feel, the sudden flash of pain followed by a small comfort. A hand smacking the back of mine only to gently rub the red, stinging skin there.
You think you got away with it because I let you get away with it for so long.
You think you got away with it because you think, in your wake, you left me broken.
Well, fuck you. Fuck the sunset you walked off into. Because you didn’t break me. You scarred me. There’s a difference.
I love each and every one of those scars.
They remind me what I don’t deserve. They remind me that while I may make mistakes — and yes, those mistakes may have lasting consequences — they don’t have to hurt forever. Making mistakes is okay.
Yeah, I question whether I’ve said the right thing, and I learn from it. The next time will be right.
Yeah, I compare myself to everyone in the room, and I learn from it. Everyone has something I can observe that can make me a better person.
Yeah, I have to ask if I’m enough. Now the answer is: yes. I am enough. I was just not enough for you.
And you know what? That’s okay too.
You broke my heart but you didn’t break me. You made me stronger.
But no, I will not say that you “got away with it.” The scars you gave me will always be a reminder; I will never be the same since you walked off into that fucking sunset.
Maybe I should thank you for that.