I think that we were meant to be. You taught me everything I knew. You in some way raised me from an innocent self-conscious girl of 15 years to an independent and smart young woman. This person I had become was ready to be your wife at just 20 years old. I was set up with my accounting job for after graduation. I would be making enough for us to start our life. I thought about the ring. I thought about our house. I thought about waking up next to you every single day. I was excited.
When I started my internship that summer I realized how many people there were in the world. That sounds stupid, but it’s the truth. I was out of my preppy spoiled rich kid college bubble for an entire summer. I took the subway to midtown and did not recognize one face. No one knew who I was. I could meet a new person at any second. It scared me that there was so much out there. Manhattan was unexplored territory that I hadn’t ever wanted to be in because you were my world. You never held me back. You made me better. You grew with me. But I was getting nervous that maybe I had grown out of you.
You and I were so comfortable in our relationship. We had everything down perfectly. We had left the honeymoon stage 4 years prior and had moved past surprising each other. I’m not sure if you actually did take me for granted, but you sure seemed like it. I still got excited to see you. My heart still broke when I left you. I know you loved me but you didn’t always show it. I felt that I couldn’t let myself commit to an entire life together without knowing anything about this new city that I had been placed in. I knew our town, and our streets. I knew your house and mine. It was all very familiar. I panicked.
I cheated. I don’t have an excuse for it. It’s just what I did and I wish I hadn’t. I wasn’t drunk. I didn’t have feelings for him. I wasn’t in “the mood” to have sex. I didn’t think he was more attractive than you. I knew that you and I had better chemistry. You hear people talk about out of body experiences and this truly was one. I watched us get together. I watched as he locked the door. I listened as he told me how badly he wanted me. I looked over us as he undressed me. I watched us get onto that bed. I saw him touching me. I didn’t stop it. He finished and I pushed away what had just happened.
I spent the night on the bathroom floor. I vomited all the contents of my stomach and I knew deep down I had to tell you. My mom said once that sometimes when people cheat, they only tell their partner because of selfish reasons. They think that it will make them feel better and take away some of the guilt. That might be part of the reason I told you, but it wasn’t the main reason. I told you because it was the only way you would let me go. I knew how much you respected yourself, and I knew you would never forgive me for betraying you.
I wish I could’ve played out my happy ending with you. I was so looking forward to it. I’ve dated now, and experienced a lot of other people. It is only now that I can know that I took us for granted. It is only now that I can know that our kind of love doesn’t come around more than once. I know that I shouldn’t have felt ashamed for loving the same person for so long. I should’ve trusted my heart with the way I felt with you. I should’ve told all of those people who told me I was settling for comfort to go to hell. I should’ve told my newly city shaped thoughts to get lost.
I’m happy that you’re in love with this new girl now, or as happy as I possibly could be to see the love of my life moved on. She seems awfully kind and you both look really happy in her new blue tinted profile picture (Why is it blue? Seriously wtf).
I’m seeing someone new now too. He’s wonderful. He calls me princess just like you did. Sometimes the way he says things to me is hauntingly the same as you once did. When I’m with him I’m happy but he’s not you and the more I see him, the more I crave you. It’s a weird feeling. It’s like the ghost of us still lingers around me every moment of every day.
I bet your new girlfriend likes the tattoos that I pleaded with you not to get. Does she know that purple heart on your bicep is for me (no matter how many times you deny it)? Maybe she grew up in a family where they curse at the dinner table, and won’t mind you and your brother’s inappropriate jokes (to be honest half of them went right over my head). Maybe she won’t mind the way you spend all your money on stupid shit, instead of saving up to pay back the $120,000 in student loans you’re going to have. I bet you she doesn’t cry when you two say goodbye. In fact, I bet you two don’t even say “I’ll see you when I see you” because you’ll never part the way we always had to.
Despite all that, I hope that she finds the way you stammer when you get excited absolutely endearing. I hope she’s a music fanatic like we are. Seriously, if she doesn’t know every song on your iTunes then I’m truly sorry. I wish that she loves your family, like I did and is proud to be a part of it. I pray that she likes to be your shotgun rider. I miss nothing more than driving around our town in your passengers seat, blasting music. Like that one time we accidently broke your center armrest doing something that’s definitely illegal to do in public. I hope she doesn’t think it’s weird to strip the twin bed in your old room and play on your hard wood floor. I am confident that as much as you love her, you still miss the way we did things.
She better know how lucky she is. She better not take you for granted. She better treat you right. Most of all, she better not make the same mistake I did.
Here it is, my final apology. I’m sorry we weren’t perfect, but goddammit we were beautiful. So for now, just add me to the list of women who sabotage themselves. At least with Catherine Earnshaw Linton, Summer Finn, Holly Golightly and Daisy Buchanan, I’m in good company.
I’ll see you when I see you.