Old Habits Die Hard, But I Think I Finally Broke This One

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He was sweet and genuine, and I honestly believed he was a good intentioned man who just wanted to look after my heart. He took me out, called me beautiful, and made me feel on top of the world. I guess everyone was right, that I should’ve known something wasn’t right when a man twice my age was so willing to begin a relationship with me. He didn’t start of f with that temper that would eventually come to tear us apart, or maybe it was there all along and he just hid it well. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I’ve been gone, it’s that I never really knew that man at all.

I was a smart girl but I was young and a little naïve, someone who clearly seeked love and affection. I can’t say that I blame him; honestly, I was an easy target, so obviously broken. Why else would a seventeen-year old girl fall for a man twice her age? I was thrust into a game I didn’t even know existed, one that consisted of lies, manipulation, and anger but I wouldn’t figure that out until much later on. I was expected to make plays in my own defense, but how am I to do that when I don’t even know what game we’re playing yet? But I do now, and I’d put money on myself that I could challenge him at his own game, maybe even win.

Cause you see, I’m older now, maybe only a year but I’m sure he’d be real surprised at what a year away from him has done for me. It’s actually kind of funny what time and distance can do to a person. I’m not the same teenage girl he thought he could push around forever. I guess I can thank him for something at least, he gave me experience under my belt, taught me how unfair life could be, schooled me in the ugly ways of the world. Bet he never thought I’d get the courage to stand up to him, but I did. Now I’m a force to be reckoned with.

It didn’t start the way it ended and I’m not denying that we had a lot of good times, shared a lot of laughs, and made a lot of memories. Hell, what seventeen-year old doesn’t have a blast drinking, smoking, and staying out all night every night. I was on cloud nine, living an adult life minus all the responsibility. I’ll even admit it; we shared six of the best damn months together before it all turned to shit. Maybe I should add that to the list of things I owe him thanks for, giving me at least six months filled with happy memories and love, at least that’s what he called it. I may not know a lot, but I know better now. That wasn’t love, because you don’t destroy the person you love, you don’t purposely inflict pain on those you love, you don’t spit venom words like “cunt”, “whore”, and “bitch”, at people you love.

When I was around him I hated him, but when I was without him I missed him so much I ached. He was like a drug, and no matter how badly he treated me I always came back for more. I don’t know why, I suppose part of me hoped, maybe even prayed we were just going through a phase. It’s a fucked up thing to know what it’s like to be happy with somebody and then wake up and realize it slipped right through your fingers. Like you might as well be lying next to a stranger right now, cause this isn’t what you signed up for and this game is starting to lose its luster. Looking back now, I’d say I was wishing this was just a “thing” all couples go through. Like I said though, I’m not stupid. I knew the situation would never get better, only worse. I packed my stuff to leave so many times, but I could never go through with it, and he knew that. Eventually, he even stopped bothering to play along, I’d announce my departure and he would just laugh as he loaded a bowl. My broken heart had become a joke to him. It didn’t matter how loud I yelled or how hard I cried, I could’ve declared myself worthy of something better a million times and it wouldn’t of changed anything. In that year he had grown to know me better than anyone else, he knew I was all talk, not brave enough to really walk away and never look back.

The fights were awful and somehow one of us would always end up teetering on that line, getting just a little too rough, grabbing and pushing just hard enough to make a point but not hard enough to leave a mark. He knew what he was doing and I was a fool for believing the day wouldn’t come where he’d cross my boundaries into the point of no return. That’s what happens when you play with fire, you end up burned. Nobody has learned that lesson better than myself. But I’ll make something clear before I get ahead of myself; I’m not playing the victim role here. I had my hand in every one of those fights that turned physical, and I’ll take responsibility for those actions. It’s time for him to take responsibility for his actions now, own up to what really happened that night. All I ever wanted was an apology, I just needed to hear him say he took it too far, maybe even an, “I’m Sorry”, but he’s too proud for all that.

That was the last night I saw him. No, not really, but I held out a good, long four months before I caved and paid him a visit. Not surprisingly, he wasn’t thrilled to see me but I worked my usual charm and ended up in his bed. I say that like I’m proud, but I’m really not. I’m disappointed in myself; I know I let everyone down. Just like a drug, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been away, if you get a little taste you’re hooked again.

Well, I guess the jokes on him now, or is it on me? I still haven’t figured it out yet. I finally walked away like all those times I promised I would, but what does that matter now? He’s settling down, talking about weddings and babies. She doesn’t know the real him, and that’s a fact. I’d try to warn her but it’s not really my problem. We still speak from time to time, he and I. The saying about learning to accept an apology you never received stands true. It’s amazing what and who you can forgive when you set your mind to it. I don’t hate him, as sick as it is I probably miss him a little bit. The last time we saw each other I ended up passed out in his bed, woke up with the taste of nostalgia in my mouth, and an all too familiar pounding in my head. So many memories filled my brain at once and a chill rushed through my spine. If you’re reading this, I know you’re wondering. I don’t usually kiss and tell but I’ll make an exception this once.

That disappointment in myself I spoke of early, didn’t stick around too long did it? What can I say? I’m weak; I thought we’d established that. You put he and I in a room and throw in a bottle of wine I don’t think either of us can be responsible for what happens. It won’t happen again though, that was the last time. I know you’re rolling your eyes just like he did as I walked out the door. I mean it this time, I really do. You watch and see. TC mark

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