To My Almost Love

Clem Onojeghuo

You came into my life like a tidal wave. Sweeping me off my feet with your charm and that beautiful smile that made the corners of your eyes crinkle. You looked at me and butterflies fluttered in my stomach, your touch sent shivers up my spine and a rush of desire through my body. I looked forward to every opportunity to spend time with you, to absorb your presence. We talked about our pasts, we talked about the good and the bad. About our futures, our hopes and our dreams. We grew quiet when we opened up about the things that hurt us, the pains we still felt, the burdens we carried. We laughed, we laughed so damn much that my face grew sore. And even then, even when my jaw ached from laughing, when we kissed goodbye and turned our backs to go our separate ways, the smile still lingered on my lips.

You told me you weren’t ready. You weren’t ready for anything serious, you still had things to figure out after your last relationships. You said you liked me, that you wanted me. But you wanted to be sure, to be sure about us before jumping into things.

So I waited. I waited for you to be ready, I waited for you to feel what I was feeling, waited for you to want what I wanted. You were busy, busy with life. So I settled, I settled for late night visits in my bedroom that didn’t turn into mornings. I watched you come and go at your convenience. You knew my door would always be open, that I’d be there, because you knew how I felt. I settled for texts that came hours late. I settled for cancelled plans. I convinced myself that you were too busy, that if you had the time you would be asking me out on dates and making official plans, that you’d put some effort into ‘us’, that you’d show me what you meant when you told me you wanted me. But the truth is, ‘we’ were never a priority in your eyes.

You didn’t want me, you wanted someone who would be there for you when it was convenient. Someone you didn’t need to impress with dates or flowers or gestures of passion. Someone that had already fallen for you. Because if you did want me, if you really meant what you said, you would have shown me.

And I pretended. I pretended that it was okay, I pretended that my heart didn’t sink when you cancelled last minute on the plans I tried to make for us. I pretended that I wasn’t waiting for you to ask me on a real date. I pretended that I didn’t need what other girls had, I didn’t need a man who would pamper me and make me feel like I mattered. I pretended to be okay with you swiping through girls on Tinder beside me in my bed with our clothes still lying on the floor beneath us. I pretended that it didn’t bother me that none of your friends knew that we shared something more than friendship. I pretended because I was waiting, waiting for you to be ready. What I realize now that I didn’t then was that you will never be ready. You will never give me what I want, what I deserve.

So now I’m walking away. Because I’m tired. I’m tired of getting my hopes up every time only to be disappointed. I’m tired of convincing myself that things will change, that things between us will get better. I’m tired of telling myself that it’s only time that we need, that in time you will start to treat me differently. I’m tired of wondering if you’re going to text me first or even bother to reply to my last message, tired of waiting up to see if you’ll ask to come over. I’m tired of enviously looking at other people who are in relationships and wondering when it’ll be our turn. I’m tired of fearing when the next girl will come along and replace me. I’m tired of waking up every morning uncertain of where we stand.

But I don’t resent you. I don’t regret the time we spent together, because you taught me a lesson that I needed to learn. Because of you, I value myself more than ever, because now I know what I want from the next person who will steal my heart. And you can be damn sure that when he does come along, I won’t settle for late night meet-ups and half-assed attempts at pursuing a relationship. So I thank you. I thank you for showing me the warning signs to look out for, all the things to avoid when the next guy comes along. I thank you for the laughs we shared and the memories we made. I thank you for the lessons I learned from our time spent together. Even though it might be hard now, hard to walk away, I’m taking the steps and not looking back. So, when your next wave hits the shoreline, I won’t be swept away. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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