I don’t want you to be happy. And maybe that’s the central feature of girls like me, that we can’t just loosen our grip on whatever we had and accept that you might love someone else now. I have to dig my nails into it and ensure that, if you do choose her, it’s not going to be an easy transition. You are going to think of me every step of the way, and have to separate me from her, and remove every bit of me from your life so that it doesn’t linger on you like perfume when you’re touching her.
And don’t get me wrong, I did want you to be happy, when you were with me. In many ways things were too happy. I grew complacent, and pushed you away, assuming that you would always come back to me. The idea that you could actually say “goodbye,” and mean it, is something that never crossed my mind until it happened. I imagined that your happiness was inextricably tied up with mine (with ours), and that no matter how many times I distanced myself, you would always come back to me seeking heat and shelter. When I heard from a friend that you were seeing her seriously, I think I lost a bit of myself. My sanity, my dignity, my mind. I knew I was the crazy ex-girlfriend, and there was nothing more to lose.
I call you when I’m drunk and touching myself at two in the morning, tell you how much I miss you, how I imagined it was you between my legs. I say things about you publicly that give just enough room to imagine that we’re still together. When I see your girlfriend — on the rare occasions you let that happen — I make her understand how powerful it was between us. I want your whole life to be an inescapable memory of me, one obstacle after another towards living a happy life without me. She probably yells at you, cries of insecurity and jealousy and her own imagination — and I love that. Even when out of your life, I still mean something. You don’t forget me, because you can’t.
You have told her that you’ll stop speaking to me. You deleted me from social media, which felt very final. You avoid me at parties, and will often not attend something if you know that I will be there. You leave little trace of your new love life online, because you know that I’ll be looking for it. But still, when I write to you — when you can smell the liquor through the screen of your phone — you respond. You tell me “I can’t do this,” but if you really couldn’t, you would be silent. You entertain me when she isn’t looking because you still want what we had. Once, you even came to my house to tell me that it wasn’t okay. I let you upstairs and kissed you, and you pushed me away. I told you, “You don’t have to do anything, I’ll only touch you. It won’t be cheating.” And you let me. You gave in.
You think that I hate her, but I don’t. I just love you, and have lost you, and hate myself for letting you go. She could be anyone. In fact, all things considered, she’s nicer than she could have been. The truth is that I have no more boundaries, no more limits, nothing to protect. I don’t care who gets hurt in the way. I want to be pulled into your chest again, to breathe against you, to hear your heart beating and only look up every so often to feel you kiss my forehead. It’s what I dream of, it’s the image that prevents me from working or going out or eating properly most days. One day you will understand, as you permit yourself to in your weaker moments, that we were so much more than what you have now. I know that you call me crazy, but that’s fine. All that matters is that I am still on your mind.