I wasn’t done loving you yet, but you made it very clear that you were done loving me. When you never called, never texted. When you stopped saying “I love you” and when you never called me “babe.” One year is a long time when you’re eighteen. It’s one eighteenth of your whole life; one fifteenth of the parts you remember. I spent one eighteenth of my life loving you. And to be honest, I’m still wasting time loving you.
I spent over thirty days trying to figure out what made you stop loving me. Thirty days trying to convince myself that we would get through this, together. But you didn’t want that. You didn’t want to get through it, just over it.
So here is what it’s like, being the one who wasn’t finished:
You go through old facebook photos, pretending that the person in the pictures is the same person you know today, but it’s not. Well, maybe they’re the same. They still call someone “babe,” and they even say “I love you” first, but not to you.
You still have their clothes. Their shirts, sweatshirts, beanies. A bottle of their cologne. The letters they wrote you, challenging the concept of “forever.” You still read them sometimes. And every time, it’s like ripping the wound open again.
You think about calling them. Saying, “I still love you, why can’t I be yours?” and then you remember, I was theirs. They were just never mine.
You have to look at the dates on the calendar that you’d written reminders in. His birthday. Your anniversary. Plans.
You have to look at them and see everything you want, and everything you can’t have, because it doesn’t want you. You have to remind yourself that you shouldn’t want someone in your life who doesn’t want to be there, and you try to move on.
You stay way away from movies, TV shows, books, that remind you of them. Because it hurts too much to remember the times they loved you. You have to consciously remind yourself that they chose to let you go, not because that had to. They wanted to.
You think about moving on. There’s that cute guy in your class, he asked for your number. He even texted you. He seems really sweet. But the truth is, you’re just not ready. You never wanted to move on, you never wanted to let go.
You have to convince yourself that there was nothing you could’ve done. They wanted to leave. You fought tooth and nail to be the best version of yourself, hoping they would change their mind. You treated them so kindly, so lovingly. You gave them their space. You got angry, you yelled. You retreated. You begged. You cried. And nothing worked. There was nothing you could’ve done to change their mind.
You have to wake up every day, and try not to hope that they realize what a mistake they’ve made. That you can’t imagine someone else being able to love them so deeply, so entirely, so madly. You just wanted them to be happy. And you still do, even the parts of you that will never forgive him. You just wanted him to be happy with you.
You sit there and wonder: What do I do with all of these feelings? I still know your favorite color. I know your favorite song. I know that the movies Philadelphia and Perks of Being a Wallflower make you cry. I know that you can’t even watch Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close because it hits too close to home. I know that you mumble in your sleep. I know how you hand feels intertwined with mine. I know that you have the softest skin imaginable. I know that you’re trying to grow your hair. I know that once when you were a little kid, you played dentist on your brother and told him to never tell mom. He did. I know the look you get in your eyes when they do something you really love. You gave it to me, quite often. But now you don’t. What am I supposed to do with this?
Am I supposed to pretend that I don’t know you? Am I supposed to pretend that this is for the best? Like you didn’t promise me forever and then leave just because you couldn’t find it within yourself to stay? Am I supposed to listen to a love song and not think of you? Am I supposed to forget what it was like when you first noticed me, and all the butterflies?
Where do I put all of this love? I had been saving it for you.