From the very beginning, you were terrified you’d hurt me. In fact, it was one of the first things you ever said to me. A smarter heart would have heard that as a warning and fled. A smarter heart would have known that meant, eventually, you’d do exactly what you feared the most.
You would hurt me.
But you know, my heart has never been that smart. She’s a lot of things: reckless, hopeful, wild. She’s too impulsive to think first. She’s too caught up in wanting to give you everything. But it’s not her fault. She’s my heart. All she could do is beat a little bit faster each time you touched me.
I know you tried. And I don’t doubt that you loved me. In your way. In the almosts. In the quiet moments before the sunrise. It was always something. But never enough. Never the thing I could take home for Thanksgiving.
You loved me at a 50%, maybe 60% on a really good day. And I sat aching at 150%. Maybe I kept thinking I’d make up for what you lacked. Maybe I could love you more, for the both of us. Somehow, we would work. I didn’t need reciprocity. I just needed you with me. I would take you in whatever dose I was given.
Is that how addiction forms? I was willing to make any excuse. I was willing to swallow my own pride if it meant you’d spend the night in my bed. How could I ever explain? The thought of giving you up made me nauseous, made me want to break everything in sight. I couldn’t handle a world where I’d have to exist and you wouldn’t be there with me.
A week after we put our relationship to rest, you texted me, “I really do love you.”
At the time, I couldn’t hear it. I was ready to jump at any chance to make us work. I wanted you so badly. I wanted us so badly. I was blind to everything else. I deserved someone who fully wanted me. And you deserved to be with someone you fully wanted. But I couldn’t understand that. Not then.
I was so mad at you for that text. It felt cruel. I spent so many nights with a tear-stained pillow. I spent so many angry mornings when I woke up from a dream and realized you were not next to me. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that you could love me, but it still wasn’t going to be enough.
We were never going to be enough. It couldn’t be a one-way street. It couldn’t depend on me.
I do believe you loved me. It would be a lie if I said I don’t occasionally imagine what would have happened if you were as invested in me. But the brutal truth? You weren’t. And I forgive you.
I forgive you for not loving me like I loved you. You did your best. My darling, we just weren’t meant to be.