Though aside from that, I’m even more sorry that I’ve dragged you through the mud with me. I wish there were a way for you to peek inside my head — not for long, just for maybe 10 or 15 minutes — just in hopes that maybe, someday, it’ll all make sense to you. Because even when you say it does, I know you’re lying.
I’ve known that for a while though, simply because there’s no way that you or anyone else could ever understand. And that’s why I’m sorry and why I love you in the way I do. I love that, despite your inability to know just how screwed up I am, you love me anyway. When I cry, sometimes for reasons I can’t explain, you hold me. When I choke back tears, mumbling nonsense up against your chest, soaking your shirt with my tears, you pull my hair back from my face and let me cry. You soothe me to the point that these days, I no longer fight your arms as they pull me up against you. I don’t struggle to pry myself away, but instead to hear the simplicity in your voice and smell just a hint of your cologne as I attempt, in some inaudible way, to say I’m sorry.
And I mean that in every last which way that I possibly can because you didn’t know what you were getting into when we met. I was good at smiling back then, at putting on a brave face to let you think that I was okay, at pretending that I was normal.
You fell in love with me when I was the delicate girl in a purple dress, not the girl who kept herself up at night, whose mind couldn’t seem to be put at ease. You didn’t see my habits back then: me fidgeting under the table on our first date, not because I was nervous, but because my anxiety had been awful all week. You couldn’t have known that, just the night before, I’d spent hours arranging and rearranging every last inch of my bedroom, simply because without that perfection, I never would’ve been able to sleep. There was no way you could’ve guessed that before putting on that purple sundress that morning, I’d contemplated whether or not I was just too fat to wear it. I’d taken it on and off three times in fact, hoping and praying for something else to appear in my closet that didn’t display every last one of the insecurities I was looking to hide.
You deserved a heads up, some sort of warning that, despite my ability to hide it all, I was broken. But you didn’t know and there were no warning signs. There was nothing that let you see far down beneath the surface, deep enough that you could’ve seen all that you were getting yourself into, all the mending and fixing that you’d need to do.
And so somewhere along the line, entirely unaware of it all, you fell in love with me.
Though the thing about that, the really amazing part, is the fact that you’re still here. You haven’t run, or even attempted to run at any point, and that on its own is the reason that I love you, and the reason that I feel as guilty as I do. I’m guilty of taking you down with me, pulling you towards the rut that, on some days, I can’t seem to bring myself out of. And on those days, the ones where my pillow is stained with my eight-dollar mascara and it feels like my world is crashing, those are the days that you’re always waiting to pick me back up. You smile, and that’s when I know it’ll be okay.
And so even if I can’t fix myself, despite every ambition I may have to do so, I try for you. You may not always see it, but please just know that I do. I just can’t ever really seem to tell you — but you know I always do better on paper — and so this is me apologizing, or at least beginning to, because someday, maybe, I’ll be okay for good.