I can remember every look a boy has ever given me. That type of look that made me feel like I had no other choice than to start falling in love with them. But I have to face the fact that I have spent more time convincing these boys we had something, than actually having something.
I guided their hands to my hips every chance I could. I picked at every scab to feel like there was meaning in the hurt, to keep something alive so I wouldn’t have to let go. At some point, it made more sense to keep going than to waste the time I invested in them. But what I’ve realized is that by doing this I never gave myself a chance to earn my heartbreak.
How am I supposed to heal correctly if I can’t figure out why it hurts so much? If I was letting myself feel everything for boys that only felt the faintest glimmer of something if they looked at me when the right song was playing at the right time of day? I wasn’t giving myself any more of a chance than they would ever give me?
I only ever gave myself the false beginning of something that could never be anything. They never really liked me back, they barely put in any effort, they did nothing but make me feel like I was just a distraction they could be entertained with while their eyes kept looking for something else. They had no interest in anything besides me being a warm place they could place their cold hands on, and so when my heart shattered I didn’t feel fulfilled in the way it was broken.
I didn’t get to experience the blood rush to the head at the beginning of something real that ends with crying gasps. Something that felt real, if only to me. Instead of the heartbreak being the result of the end of two people deciding they were gonna risk possibly devastating hurt to be together, it was a humiliating example of some hearts’ capacity for cruelty in order to make cowards feel powerful.
I want to earn my heartbreak. First I want to earn learning the intricacies of who you are. I want to know your favorite food and the last time you cried and the things I can feel in my bones you’ve never said to anyone else. I want to earn being the person you steady yourself on when your footing is unsure. I want to show up for each other when we need it and go all in with everything we have so we can earn being a part of each other’s idea of home.
And if heartbreak must happen, I want to earn that too. If the end has to come, if I love you and you don’t feel it back. If you love me, but I’m just not ready. If we both love each other, but it’s not enough. I want to know that we started out willing to spend forever together. I want to know that you looked at me smiling back at you and couldn’t have imagined coming home to anyone else, at least in that moment, but possibly until the end of time. And that I could have watched you tie your shoes every morning for the rest of our lives while laying in bed, still in pajamas, and felt my heart grow big with adoration. Or at least really believe in us, because we earned it.