You hurt me a million times, but I never stopped loving you. I never blamed you for the pain either. I blamed myself instead. I told myself that I wouldn’t have had to go through so much suffering if I was prettier, smarter, kinder, better. I criticized myself every time I looked into the mirror because I figured there must have been something wrong with me if you weren’t interested in staying. I tried to come up with reasons why you would leave but the only reason that made sense was me, that it was my fault, my flaws.
We stopped seeing each other, but I never stopped loving you. I stayed single for a while. I didn’t want anyone else. Besides, I was convinced it was only a matter of time until you would reappear and I wanted to be available when that happened. I didn’t want any barriers between us. I didn’t want you to see me with someone else and assume my feelings for you had vanished. I wanted you to feel like you could come back if you decided that’s what you wanted.
Eventually I did start dating other people, but I never stopped loving you. I tried not to think about you, though. I didn’t want to compare anyone else to you. I didn’t want to disrespect the new boys I was seeing, even if it was only inside of my mind where they would be unable to hear. Whenever I was with them, I focused on them. Their lips. Their hands. Their jaws. But the second they left the room, I wouldn’t find myself missing them. I would be too busy missing you.
We went months without talking to each other, without seeing each other face-to-face, but I never stopped loving you. I still picked up my phone and considered texting you. I still wondered where you were and who you were with when the sun went down. I still had a reoccurring daydream inside my mind where you would run into me in the neighborhood and declare your love for me. Where we would get back together and live happily ever after this time.
Over time, I learned to accept that you were gone and were not coming back, but I never stopped loving you. I still replay our highlights inside of my mind before falling asleep at night. I still felt my heart leap at the sound of your name. I still wish things would have turned out differently. But I don’t do those things every single day. I only do them on occasion. There are days that go by when I forget to think about you, when I forget to feel heartbroken. There are days when I feel like I might be okay again. Somehow. Someday.
But one thing will never change. Even after all of the hurt you have caused me, even after all of the time we have spent apart, I never stopped loving you. I never will.