I stayed with you because I chose to.
You stayed, for a little while.
I stayed after learning you’d given your clothes to another girl. It was nothing, you said. She just needed a change of clothes, you said.
You stayed after I got angry at you for going out to a party, and I got angry every time you went downtown or to a party. One time, you even took me with you, and stayed even though you didn’t think I put in any effort to join in on the fun.
I stayed on your tile bathroom floor, sick from food poisoning, hugging my knees while you slept in bed. You knew I was sick, but you chose not to care.
You stayed on a twin-sized air mattress with me right beside you in the same leaky bed, in a room we shared with my two best friends, because I wanted you to come visit me.
I stayed, promise after broken promise, compromise after broken compromise.
You stayed, promising me that you weren’t going anywhere.
I stayed and waited up for you to come home every night from work, no matter how late it was. I stayed around waiting for my phone to ring or waiting for you to walk in the door only to have you disappear soon after you arrived.
You stayed and waited for me to be ready. I had never done anything with anyone and it was going to take me a while to be ready to do something with you.
I stayed when your parents came to town for a surprise visit on what was supposed to be our special day. And I went to lunch with them. And I defended you as they questioned all of your decisions and your success.
You stayed when my parents did nothing but make me cry and all I did was lean on you for support. When really, I had a much better relationship with my parents than you did yours.
I stayed plan after cancelled plan.
You stayed plan after ruined plan.
I stayed as you walked in front of me, ahead of me, leaving me in your shadow as you paid attention to anyone who wasn’t me. I followed you even though you weren’t leading me down a path I wanted to take. I followed you without realizing that you didn’t want me to.
You stayed as I took my frustration with you out on you as I gave you orders. Because I wanted everyone to like you. Because I wanted you to want me. Because I wanted to control everything.
I stayed and listened to you plan another vacation to which I wasn’t invited, but I was right beside you while you made yet more plans without me.
You stayed and listened to me fuss about your friends. I didn’t like them, any of them. Especially those three girls who wouldn’t let me into their exclusive club, who didn’t know me but didn’t like me anyway. They were snobs. Maybe I was the snob.
By then, I didn’t have the strength to leave. By then, you were contemplating leaving me.
You stayed even though I started to get butterflies when I saw romance on TV, thinking that I wanted something like that, wondering what it would be like to have someone come in and save me, wondering what it would be like to kiss someone else for the first time. Someone that wasn’t you.
I stayed even though on my last night with you, you chose to go – 11:00pm at night, you with a test to study for and me with more tears to cry, you walked out, leaving me sitting on your bed waiting for you to come back. Again.
You left even though it was my last night with you and you knew that I would be sad to go. You walked out, leaving me sitting on your bed waiting for you to come back. Again.
I stayed, and I let you get the best of me.
I stayed until you decided not to.
I may not have chosen to walk away, but I’m choosing to let you go.