I thought I had it all.
I pieced our life together, bit by bit, year after year, modeling it after what I always envisioned a happy life as a couple should be. My perfect fairy tale, starring us. Your proposal was supposed to be my happily ever after. That diamond ring and our dream wedding. It was supposed to be perfect.
And nobody had to know we weren’t really perfect. That could be our little secret.
Because I knew we had fights. Differences. Disagreements. You liked to stay out, to be wild and free. I knew you were afraid to commit to me.
It took you 5 years and 2 breakups to propose.
But I stayed. Waiting for you to come around. Always waiting. Sometimes knowing what you were doing. Only sometimes. Hoping it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Always giving you the benefit of the doubt.
Now there was a wedding to plan. If I could just get us to the altar. If I could just get in front of you in my white dress and say those vows. The dancing and the cake. The perfectly posed and photoshopped pictures.
Blur the lines in my face that had formed during those years I stayed up late at night waiting for you to come home. Blur the imperfections of our past and hang them on the mantle for the rest of our perfectly imperfect lives.
I didn’t really think I had it all. But I thought I could if I tried hard enough.
And nobody had to know we weren’t really perfect.
Nobody, not even me. Because while I pieced together my fairy tale, you were secretly tearing it apart.
It was, in fact, just as bad as it seemed. Worse, even. So much worse. The things I told myself you would never do to me. The things I thought you weren’t capable of. Three women. Maybe more, I’ll never know. I don’t want to know.
You said you never loved them. But what you really said was you never loved me.
I picked my wedding dress up from the shop, knowing I would never wear it. I cried into a sea of tulle. Deep, heaving tears. Smears of black mascara on perfect white lace. Smears of infidelity, deceit, and heartbreak on my perfect fairy tale.
There was no hiding these imperfections.
For a fleeting moment, I considered continuing the charade. I told myself I could fix it. Just send the invitations. Wear the dress. Eat the cake. Get your ending. You’ve come this far, why stop now? Live the life you wanted. The life you thought you had. The life of lies.
I thought I had it all. Well, not anymore. Not in the least. But I thought I could if I just tried a little harder.
Things I thought I was capable of. But I’ll never know. I don’t want to know. I walked instead. Not down the aisle, but out of our life. My life. My story. My perfectly imperfect fairy tale.
I’d rather live in the real world.