I remember the day that we broke up. The way your voice cracked on the other side of the phone while I sat exasperated and tired trying not to sound like a bitch. I wasn’t sensitive to the fact that you hadn’t let go because for you it came out of no where, a perfect relationship suddenly ended, when for me it was different because I was convinced I was doing the right thing. I had already let go, I had already chosen myself over you.
The impact of the blast that was the end of our relationship still rings in my ears as I remember the bombs we threw at each other out of desperation and frustration. It could have all ended better, easier, and for the months after I carried that weight with me, silently convincing myself that I wasn’t at fault. Because at 23 you don’t think anything’s your fault. You take accountability for nothing and float in the water of things you don’t know you don’t know.
We spent months, and years not talking.
I grew up, I changed, I thought of you often and wondered how things would be if I hadn’t walked away.
To this day I only regret the how and not the why because the why is easy. I needed to choose myself. I needed to be able to stand on my own two feet and find out who I was in a way that couldn’t have happened if you’re in a relationship. There was a maturation that I couldn’t get through attached to you, worrying about you, planning a life that I wasn’t even sure I wanted with you. But how I went about doing that, how I walked away without articulating any of that…well, it brings me a shame that I haven’t be able to shake and that I doubt I ever will.
I never thought you would talk to me again and you had that right. After a bad break-up that’s how it’s supposed to be, a clean break, like amputating an arm.
Losing you was rough but losing my best friend was the hardest thing I’d ever endured.
You don’t think about that when you decide to break up with someone, you don’t realize that after a certain amount of years they know you better than anyone else. As time passed things became clearer. The smoke of what we burned down lifted and to some extent I was able to date again.
But none of those guys were you. Dates happened, small relationships formed, hearts were broken and you stayed in my mind. As I evolved, as I became more aware of the type of person I wanted to be with I realized that you had already checked off those boxes. You had been that person all along, but I had not yet become the person who valued those things. Had I let the right one go? We’re you the one that got away? What if we were meant to be together and I blew it? It certainly felt that way, and I silently prayed that if that were the case that our paths would meet again and it would become very apparent our love was fate.
But we always tend to romanticize what could have been instead of what was.
Our relationship was clouded by grief, loss, and struggle. We were two kids who had no idea how much sacrifice and work goes into relationships, unaware that even relationships with unlimited amounts of love are hard sometimes and take work. We didn’t know how to fight, how to communicate, how to listen, and while a lot of that can be chalked up to youth some of it stemmed from other things that we could never work past. I’d like to think that it’d be different now, if somehow, if someway, we started back at square one. Because while I’m not the same person I was when we were together, I am still the person you fell in love with, stronger, better, happier too.
And in the end, I just want to be happy, and for you to be happy and for us to cherish this connection we undeniable have. We had happiness together and maybe we can get there again because if we were meant to be and you were the one who got away than nothing can come between us, not even this time when we were just you, and me.