I wanted you to be The One.
Honest to God, I did. I’m not a pious girl, but I prayed each night that my feelings would develop deeper. I wanted to set my roots the way you did. I wanted to look at you and know this was it.
I wanted to love you as much as you loved me.
I loved you, in my way, but I know it wasn’t enough. It’s unfair to stay with someone who sees the world in your eyes and you can only see a sliver of something back. Even if things were good and safe, and leaving it behind would hurt me more than I could even verbalize.
But I was still looking for something else, something that wasn’t okay to ask you to become. Trust me, I know how much that stings. I know loving someone unconditionally and hoping they will eventually get to the same place feels like losing the war. I’ve been the one waiting before. I’ve been the one with swallowed pride.
To love someone more than they love you is a painful truth, something I don’t wish upon anyone. Especially you.
I’m so sorry. I know that’s not enough. I know words are bullshit when your heart is breaking because I can’t give you what you want.
I never want you to think this is a reflection on your character. You gave me so much in such a short amount of time, and for that I will always be grateful. You’re kind and generous. You never made me feel like my heart was too soft or tender. You love animals and never met a dog you didn’t immediately befriend. So much of you is exactly what I say I want. And letting you go wasn’t easy.
But it was the right thing to do. Because you deserve someone who is going to love you all the way. And it breaks my heart that girl couldn’t be me.
Ari Eastman’s new poetry collection, Bloodline, is now available for pre-order.