It’s sad and stupid to just watch yourself slowly slip away, damaged by the splinters of what-if’s scattered all over the wreckage of what never even was. But I thought that was simply the ugly truth about love. I thought love simply created to destroy. I thought love was about being able to endure the pain, to cling onto someone who pushes you away, to tear yourself apart in hopes that your jagged pieces would fill his aching gaps.
I imagined us becoming each other’s lifebuoys, but all I ever got out of loving him was the ugly feeling that I was drowning on my own while he watched carelessly. He made it a habit to break my heart, and I chose to see it as a privilege for my heart to be shattered by the one boy who had always owned it.
He was my favorite form of self-destruction, and I, for one summer, became his most convenient distraction. I was emotionally unstable; he was emotionally unavailable. It was bound to end horribly, if it ever even began. It didn’t, and it still left us frayed. For months, I’ve been broken. For a flame that didn’t even last long, the damage was too much.
Now I realize that it was never about him. It’s always been about me. I kept on telling myself that I’d never find someone like him, that he’s the only person I’d ever want to be with. I wanted to prove to myself that I can mean something to someone, exactly how they meant to me. I chose to fall for someone who couldn’t even figure out what he wants, but I wanted to believe that I was worth figuring things out for.
I wanted to believe that real life can imitate the movies and he’d be that guy who would want to change for a girl. For me. But the movies aren’t ever right. And I was never that kind of girl. It wasn’t that I loved him too much to let him go. It was that I didn’t love myself enough to believe that I deserved better. Maybe, I really didn’t know how to love.
And it should be no surprise that he can’t love me, too, because how can love ever blossom between two people who didn’t even know how to love themselves? Maybe you won’t ever understand the right way to love someone until you figure out the right way to love yourself.