I Wrote This Instead Of Texting You Back

I only hear from you on weekends.

On Saturday, you’ll text me something pointless, something that didn’t need to be said. I used to tell myself it was because you had been thinking of me and wanted to reach out. I’ll reply to acknowledge receipt of your message (and because I had obviously been thinking of you too, even before you texted me), and you’ll reply with a one-word response that immediately kills whatever potential our conversation had. I try to shrug it off and go out with my friends, using alcohol and dancing as a way to rid you from my thoughts. I accept the free drinks from strangers (even when they buy me something gross like a gin and tonic, something we had once bonded over not liking), because the more alcohol in my system, the more I would dance; and the more I would dance, the less I would feel.

I almost always wake up to a text from you on Sunday morning (or afternoon depending on how late I stayed out), something I used to wake up to on every day of the week. But your Sunday morning texts no longer make me smile, or fill me with joy, because they are now meaningless. You didn’t text me to say good morning, to ask me how my night was (knowing me, I probably drunkenly Snapchatted you a picture or ten to show you how much fun I was having without you anyway), or for any other valid reason. No, you had only texted me because you were bored. Maybe your new boyfriend works every Sunday and you need attention from someone, so you turn to me. And you’ll actually continue to text me all day and into the evening, sometimes even until you go to bed. And for some reason, every Sunday, a little part of me wonders if something has changed and if I’ll hear from you before next Saturday.

But I very rarely do. I go through my week secretly hoping every time my phone buzzes it’s you, and every so often it is, but it’s never anything substantial. It’s funny — those rare instances are almost always when I’m on a date with someone else. I’ll go to the bathroom and look at my phone and see a text from you and the rest of my date is ruined, because I spend the remainder of the evening thinking of you, unable to focus on the person right in front of me. There was a period where I tried reaching out to you, but the few times I did, you would take hours to reply. I remember one time I texted you a new song by that artist we mutually love on a Wednesday afternoon, and you didn’t reply until Thursday morning (simply saying “I like it!”).

So I stopped trying.

The other night as I lay in bed, unable to sleep, I found myself scrolling to the first texts we had sent each other. Back when you would text me all day every day, when every morning I woke to a cute good morning text and went to bed with you wishing me sweet dreams. Back when I couldn’t go two hours without hearing from you. It was almost a turn off at first — you had been so eager. If I didn’t reply to a text, I would hear from you again shortly thereafter. It was like you couldn’t get enough of me. I remember after our first week of dating and texting, you had already texted me more than anyone else ever had (granted, it was a new phone, but still). That “1572” next to your name in my messages symbolized how much you liked me, how much you needed me, how your days were empty without hearing from me. And sure enough, I soon began to feel the same way about you.

And that’s when you pulled away. The texts became less frequent and our conversations one sided. Before I knew it, we were where we are now. We went from texting over a thousand times in a week to maybe thirty, almost always only on the weekend. Those days of endless texts and cute dates are gone and have been replaced with an empty feeling that no number of dates and texts with other people can fill.

So I guess my question to you is this: why won’t you let me go?

You so clearly have moved on; I’ve been feeling you slowly forget me for weeks now. You no longer harbor romantic feelings for me (if you ever did in the first place), and your days are no longer empty without me. So why do you text me every weekend like clockwork? Why do you need to keep me in your life in the lowest capacity possible? Why can’t you let me go and let me be free and at least let me try to be happy again?

Is it because you’re keeping me as a backup in case things with your boyfriend don’t work out? Is it because you know how similar we are, how we got along so effortlessly those first few weeks? Is it because deep down, you know we could be something amazing together? Or is it just because you like stringing me along, keeping me trapped in your dark, twisted game of blurry lines and mixed signals, a game where I’ll never be anything but the loser?

It took me some time, but I’ve come to accept that no matter which answer you choose, I’ll somehow still be the one failing. So I’ve finally made the decision to stop answering your texts, and this letter was to let you know why. You don’t get to keep me in your back pocket for another day. You chose not to love me now. You can’t choose to love me later.

I only wish I had realized that sooner. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Alan Kleina Mendes

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