I Still Choose To Love Even Though You Didn’t Choose Me

couple in denim and their feet
Sweet Ice Cream Photography

It’s in the stillness of the night that my mind wanders. In the darkness, it searches. It tries to find stars and weave them into constellations so complex and intricate that even spiders would stare in awe. And sometimes the webs my mind weaves look like midnight stars in your eyes.

In the stillness of the night, I lose all self-control. So instead of falling asleep, my mind falls for you again. 

It starts to play movies of the countless nights we spent together. I start to think of the way you held the curves of my body and the way you kissed my lips. It plays those little moments when the slow progression of time would stop as you whispered in my ear how much you wanted me.

I think of the way we got so caught up in the moment. That one look, that one pause, and in an instant we both knew what was coming next. Your hands beautifully navigating a maze around my body in a way that was never the same every time. So every time you reached my favorite places, I was starstruck.

The way you looked at me as I slowly took my top off and slid out of that skirt you liked still makes me shudder months later. That way you were surprised when I grabbed the fabric of your button-up shirt and kissed you as if the world could end and we wouldn’t notice still feels so familiar when it’s dark outside.

We were full of lust the way stars are full of dust.

And in those moments, I didn’t notice the signs.

I should have noticed those warning signs and flashing lights, and that little voice telling me that this was too good to be true. Those last times, I should have noticed you leaving too soon without holding me close. I should have held my heart closer to my chest when you brushed off my disappointment by convincing me that you had too much work to come over. In naked reality, it was really it was because you were choosing to be with her.

I should have listened to everyone’s advice when I started to doubt my own sanity — instead, I should have doubted your honesty and incessant apologies.

I should have known that would be the last night when you were so distant. My body was pressed into yours like how a cake fits its mold, and even then, I felt like you were millions of miles away in a universe in which I didn’t exist. When you started to kiss me but couldn’t close your eyes without wanting to pull away, I should have known. And when you hugged me but held me tighter near the end, I should have known it was fear holding you next to me, not love, nor lust.

But in these moments of darkness and stillness, there is light and reflection. In this rare quiet of the night, I realize that I am not the one to blame, nor are you.

Instead, I choose to forgive you, but more importantly, myself. Because forgiveness is a virtue, and so is choosing to love. Just as the sun rises after it sets, I will choose to love and forgive, but not forget. TC mark

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You look back and you just feel stupid.
You can’t forgive yourself for falling
or believing all the lies.
You reread every text.
You relive every memory.
And it all starts making sense —
he never wanted love.
He only wanted attention.
He only wanted validation.

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