I dated other boys. I slept in their beds. I called them my boyfriends. I didn’t feel bad about it because I told myself I was over you. I thought I had moved on because you had left me a long time ago and I felt like it would be pathetic to still be hung up on you.
It wasn’t like I was purposely leading them on. I wasn’t lying about liking them. I found them attractive. I found them funny. I liked spending my time with them.
I never actively compared them to you. I never thought about how your lips felt better against my mouth or how I preferred the sound of your laughter. A part of me didn’t realize that you were still the only one I wanted because I forced you out of my mind. You were too painful to think about.
I never repeated your name. I never replayed our memories late at night when I was all alone. I never let you slide into my subconscious.
I wasn’t secretly thinking about you when I was kissing somebody else. I wasn’t wishing you were there with me instead. I was completely fine with those other boys. Not happy. Not giddy. But good.
I tried not to wonder why they failed to make me feel the way you did, because you were gone and you weren’t coming back. I didn’t ask myself those questions because I didn’t want to hear the answers. I didn’t want to admit that I liked you more than I was capable of liking anyone new.
But after a while, I couldn’t keep pretending.
Whenever you texted me, my heart would flop around in its cage. I never felt that way with anybody else. It felt better to see your name on my screen than to be touched by anybody else.
I eventually realized those others boys meant something to me, but you meant everything to me. I could hold hands with them and take fun trips with them, but it would never give me the same satisfaction I felt when we were together.
I hurt good guys because of you. I broke hearts because of you. I hated myself because of you.
Deep down, I know it’s my own fault. I know I should take responsibility for my actions, but at the time, I didn’t realize I was hurting anyone. I was living a lie that even I believed. I was pretending to be someone else, someone who never met you, someone who wasn’t hopelessly in love with you.
I should have been honest with myself from the start. I should have admitted I was hurt and embraced the pain, because it would have stopped me from spreading heartache. It would have been better for everyone involved.
I just want you to know that I might have dated other boys, I might have kissed other boys and led them back into my bedroom, but the truth was that I only wanted you. It was always you.