13 Things I Never Said To You

1. “When I call you and you don’t pick up and I call you again — maybe even four times — I know that I’m bothering you. I know that you think I’m the ‘crazy’ ‘needy’ girl that you have to gently let down again. I can feel in my bones how bad it makes me look, and how much it distances us. But I can’t help myself. I need to reach out, to feel like I’m trying, to hear the soft, frustrating (but still somehow reassuring) sound of your voicemail picking up.”

2. “I look at your ex girlfriend online and compare her to myself over and over again. Sometimes I think that, if I could just be a little bit more like her, things would be easier. I know that you two didn’t work out, and that it would be stupid to recreate something that didn’t last, but there is something new and different even in her oldness and familiarity.”

3. “I said that I lost your sweater, but I kept it, and I still wear it.”

4. “The first time I saw you at the party at Cara’s house, I thought I knew you from somewhere. There is something about you that has always felt like home. I realized that I didn’t know you when someone said your name, but I still felt that weird draw of ‘I have to talk to him. We have something to say to each other.’ Sometimes it’s almost scary how well it feels like I know you, even from the beginning. It’s almost like my heart made up an entire story about you and the rest of me ignored that it wasn’t real.”

5. “I shiver when you touch me.”

6. “My friends all hate you — they see the way I am around you, and the things I’m ready to do for your approval, and they tell me that I am wasting my time by loving you. They tell me that they don’t even recognize me any more. And I agree with them, I can see that they’re right and that they care about me more than you do. But one text message from you will erase all of their hard work.”

7. “I only smoke weed when I’m with you, and I don’t even like it.”

8. “The first time you touched me, when we were sleeping next to each other at the campsite last summer, surrounded by friends who were still awake and drunk out of their minds, I thought that I was dreaming. I had wanted you for so long, thought that you would never leave her, that the idea of you reaching out to me was impossible to me. When you whispered to me that you had broken up, I didn’t even think to ask how long it had been since you called it off. It had only been two days.”

9. “Every day I think of what I did that night to make you want me so badly, and why I can never recreate it in quite the same way. My friends tell me that you just wanted me because you were reeling from the breakup, and I know that’s probably true.”

10. “They called me a slut and said that I stole you from your ex girlfriend. I didn’t do it, but I would have if I had the chance.”

11. “The night I went out and saw my ex boyfriend in a group of our old friends, I didn’t touch him because I wanted him. I didn’t sit on his lap because he made me feel something. I didn’t let him kiss me — just once, in the hallway by the bathrooms of the bar — because of him. I did it because I knew that I was losing you and I thought, in a moment of desperation and anger, that making you jealous would be the one thing that kept you around. I thought you would see the way other men looked at me, and maybe see me that way yourself.”

12. “Sometimes I do my groceries in your neighborhood just to see if I will run into you, and can pretend like it was a total accident. In that version of events, we always go out for a cup of coffee, and you fall back in love with me.”

13. “The real fear, the one I never talk about because saying it or writing it forces me to acknowledge it, is that you never really loved me in the first place. You wanted me as a placeholder, as a way to move on from something, as a transitional period. And I fear that it is because of this — because of the elusive thing I may have never actually had — that I will love you forever. TC mark

image – merra marie

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