I always knew I was only second place.
Our love story was less about love and more about convenience. I wasn’t who you thought of when you went to sleep, or as soon as you woke up. I was a sense of comfort, a soft body to hold knowing you couldn’t cradle her.
I knew it all along. I could hear everyone telling me to get out, to find my self-worth and stop answering your texts. I should have held my damn head high and said, “See ya, sucker.”
I was supposed to leave.
But unrequited love turns dignity into something dirty.
It turns strength into an avalanche of breaking. It turns bones into mush. I kept looking for my backbone, but it was nowhere to be found.
And none of it makes me proud.
But I guess I was just happy to be an option in your life at all. I was hungry for any slice of your heart, even if I was never going to get the whole thing. The thought of losing you, whatever piece of you I had, was shattering. I wasn’t ready to let go.
I wanted you. In whatever capacity I could have you.
But I’m not naive. I knew the nights when you grabbed my body mid-sleep because you thought I was someone else. I knew the times your mouth wanted to form around her name. I knew the announcement of her engagement tore you down the middle.
Even when you pretended it didn’t.
Even when you kissed my neck and said I was who you wanted to be with. Even when you promised you had moved on and what mattered now was we were together.
I know you too well. You can fool yourself, but Babe, you can’t fool me. You never got over her. Instead, you just got under me. And I was so blindly in love with you, I decided being your back up plan was the next best thing.
That way, I still had you.
But unrequited love does not grow into the real thing. I kept hoping it would. I thought with enough time, you would get there. Your feelings would develop as deeply as mine had. But how could they?
You were still waiting for her.
You didn’t understand why I finally said goodbye. I moved 300 miles away because I was so afraid I’d keep landing at your doorstep. But your love for her burrowed inside of me, built a home of insecurity that I couldn’t keep staying in.
I couldn’t keep breaking my own heart waiting for you to finally choose me.