Before her toxic relationship, she considered herself an optimist. She saw the kindness in people, saw the goodness in the world.
She kept her heart open to love, she kept her mind open to new ideas, and she kept her schedule open to new experiences. The unknown excited her, she couldn’t wait to see what the future had in store for her.
Back then, she believed in destiny, in true love, in soulmates. She spent her time searching for someone to sweep her off of her feet, like in the movies she watched and stories she read.
She had an innocence to her that made her eyes sparkle, that made her smile glisten.
But you changed all that.
You took a good girl and you put her through hell. You made her believe that she had finally found her prince, you convinced her to fall head over heels for you, and then you took it all away from her.
She expected to stay with you forever. She was caught off-guard by the unanswered texts and last minute cancellations. She never expected the boy she loved to put her through so much pain.
Maybe it was her fault for being too hopeful, for being overly understanding. Maybe it was stupid of her to believe that fairy tales actually existed.
But now, she knows better.
Now, she guards her heart. She refuses to let it out of its cage, afraid that someone else like you will come along and use her until he gets bored and abandons her.
Now, she hesitates before going out on dates and locking lips. She is cautious about who she lets into her life. She keeps her secrets to herself, because she has stopped trusting strangers.
Now, she knows that boys who compliment her won’t always want a serious relationship with her. And she knows that, even if a boy claims he loves her, he might eventually decide to leave.
When she looks back, she’s embarrassed by how much she trusted someone like you. She wishes that she would have thought with her head over her heart.
The only good thing that came from her pain is the lessons she learned.
She learned that her time is valuable and some people aren’t deserving of it. She learned that giving someone all of her love and attention doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll get anything in return.
And she learned to protect her heart. To stop wearing it on her sleeve and only hand it over to someone who has earned it.
At first, she thought that her toxic relationship ruined her. But that’s not the truth. It only made her stronger. It made her smarter.
It made it easier for her to see the difference between a boy who will selfishly take everything she gives and a boy who deserves all she has to give.