I would enter the summer numb and hungry. I have never felt crazier than I did the in days following my return home from freshman year. I cried hysterically, I fasted, and I slept. I thought obsessively about our relationship, about how late I realized you didn’t need me like I needed you, and about how I did not know what I was supposed to do with the summer ahead of me. I thought about you, and I thought about your hopes about reclaiming lost connections and finding new adventure.
Shortly out of an eighteen-year stretch of romantic independence (or desolateness, depending on perspective), I tried on innumerable occasions to convince myself that this was exciting: I wasn’t a virgin, I was on good terms with many people more attractive than you, and bad bitches are believed to be at their best when they aren’t tied down. But this train of thought failed just as many times as it was attempted. My timid grasps at emotional well being soon spiraled into daily readings of your friend’s Twitter. I would see the tweets about picking you up from the airport, the picture of the purse you brought her from Africa (when you brought me the memory of a bracelet you broke while you were using a squat toilet), the posed pictures taken of the two of you together, and the pictures of the party where you kissed. I hated myself, I hated her, but I never thought to hate you.
We Skyped, mostly because I pushed for it. I’m a good Skyper. I’m also funny and clever, neither of which you had noticed until long after the night you told me your fantasies about dating your best friend from high school. With my skills in mind, I cyber-wooed the shit out of you. I really do believe that Skyping kept me from going insane that summer and convinced you that there was something worth considering between us.
We returned to school in August happy to see one another. We had reunion sex. We fell into the swing of being a couple, a better couple than we had been before. Yet, I still read her Twitter compulsively. You still lied about anything having happened after several occasions where that was explicitly the appropriate thing to do. When you finally told me, you did not seem happy to do so, but you did not seem even remotely traumatized.
Now, things are better. You seem very content, very in-love, which gives me an unhealthy sense of gratification. And here we are, nearing the one-year anniversary of a night that confirmed my anxieties about my importance to you. I keep expecting you to feel eaten away by your sorrow in the same way that I feel a little less whole because of my summer spent in the dark. But like I’ve decided an emotionally healthy person would do, you get unapologetically excited for your short trips home, text multiple (ex-girl-) friends about your return, and do not feel obligated to maintain constant contact with me. I wish I could accept your normal reactions, but instead I find myself disappointed in your avoidance of an unhealthy fixation on our relationship. I wish I didn’t feel traumatized by something that seems so far behind us, but I can help but feel like you never faced it like I did. I wish you could come to this dark place with me or help me out of here. I don’t want you to ever have to see it, and I don’t think you ever will able to. This is a little piece of darkness I’m going to have to carry all on my own.