Today I unfriended you on Facebook. I unfollowed you on Instagram. I removed you as a friend on Snapchat. I even deleted your number.
I’m sure you won’t notice. It won’t affect you in any way, but it brings down my whole world. We’ve been through this before—a hundred times, actually—and it always goes the same way. I delete everything so I don’t have to see your face, so I don’t have to be reminded of what I cannot have. I’ll ask our mutual friends not to mention your name around me. I can’t hear about what’s going on with you without immediately being sucked back in. I even make a promise to myself that I won’t look at her social media just to catch a glimpse of you and your life together. We know that only makes it that much worse.
But here’s what else we know. A few months from now, you’ll text me. Even though I deleted your number, I’ll know it’s you. Like I said, we’ve been through this before, which means that number has popped up on my screen before and those digits are burned into my brain. So you’ll text. You’ll ask how I am, you might even say something mildly flirtatious. And right there I’ll cave. I’ll take back everything I told myself in my head about cutting off contact, how that’s what’s best for me and the only way I can move on. All rational thought will disappear and I’m immediately pulled back into you. I’ll answer kindly, I’ll probably flirt back. We may text for a bit—not exchanging too much information, though. You’ll never tell me about what’s going on in your life. We’ll reminisce about our times together. I’ll get my hopes up. Maybe this slight interest means you’ve changed your mind. Maybe you’ve left her and want me. So I get back on social media and start to research. She’s still there by your side. You’re planning on getting married soon. I don’t bring it up; I say nothing. I can’t jeopardize this interaction with you—who knows how much longer I have. But then as it always goes, you fade away. You don’t respond to a text or you say something sarcastic that makes me feel foolish. You sense I’m getting my hopes up for something that isn’t going to happen, and just as quickly as you came, you leave again. I get upset and the dangerous cycle starts over.
I want you out of my life for this endless pain you seem to cause me. At the same time, I can’t imagine never hearing from you again. It terrifies me to think that one day you won’t reach out, that I won’t see that number pop up on my phone. So no matter how much it may kill me, I’ll keep waiting.