When I was young, my nights were always haunted by thoughts of a monster under my bed. I would wake up sweating, with my eyes frantically darting from one wall to another. Those nightmares recurred lesser as I grew up, more so when I met you. I remember when I would wake up in your arms, and you’d ask me “What’s wrong?” under your breath. You would hold me closer, tighter and tell me that you’re there; that no monster was ever going to steal me away from you. I would go back to sleep with the sound of your heart beating in your chest. I felt secure. I felt safe. But I never knew that one day, that monster would be you.
For the past months, there were nights when I woke up crying, haunted by the scent of your skin and the sound of your voice. My tears whispered sadness across the room that has grown cold and empty. There would be days when I could not see the sun; time drifted away as I stared blankly at the stained photo of us. Sometimes, my heart spun threads of hate, weaving the linen that would cover the corpse you left behind: me.
After weeks of scratching in the same hole, time eventually became my friend. My wounds started to close; mornings came where I regained my breath. Life flowed in my veins and my heart began to beat again. Your shadows no longer lingered on my walls and I braved every nightmare because I deserve to nestle in peace. Despite my healing, a conflagration devoured the images of you between my ribs. I wanted to avenge myself from the storms you put me through. I wanted to avenge myself for the death you placed upon my eyes.
But as I think back to those nights you held me close to your body and those days when you were the first thing I saw in the morning, revenge became the last thing I could think of. Revenge is a poison that kills both the victim and the murderer. The thought of it slowly brings itches to wounds that have already healed. It incinerates love into hate.
As I changed the sheets and opened the windows, I inhaled the morning air and exhaled forgiveness. The million voices that told bedtime stories about you have been washed out by the sun. I wanted to hate you as much as I should but I remembered I used to love you as far as I could. As if to write by its beating, my heart whispers to you, my distant past:
I forgive you for loving me less so I could forgive myself for loving you more than you deserved. It was a tough bargain but luckily, I could still see my worth.
I forgive you for exchanging me over things and people that satisfied your desires on lust and other forms of love. I forgive you because it made me rise above the sadness and insecurities; it shined light upon my morals.
I forgive you for leaving me; for making me watch fireworks on my own; I forgive you for all the nights I woke up alone, gasping in fear—– on those nights when you promised you would always be there. I forgive you because I have learned to fight my monsters by myself; so I could fight those of the one I will love someday.
I forgive you so I could totally let you go; so I could be free too. I don’t want to live in the prison of “us” anymore. I want to listen to the sound of the rain at night without looking for your lullaby.
I forgive you for betraying me so I could trust people again.
I forgive you for not doing the things you should have and for doing the things you shouldn’t.
I forgive you for every pain, so I could recognize happiness when it reappears.
I forgive you for the ending so I could walk on new beginnings.
I forgive you because I am larger than the room you left me in.
I forgive you for ripping me apart because I learned how to stitch myself back together.
I forgive you for the darkness. Now, I can see brighter stars.
Yes, I forgive you but I will never forget. You will be a memory that will remind me of how it feels to love someone with your flesh, bones and soul.
I forgive you because you are a lesson that I learned.
As I run with the wolves, this forgiveness will stay with you.
I forgive you because it is the right thing to do.