I’ve reached a place of a certain amount of peace when it comes to our breakup.
I wrote the book. I went viral talking about her and you and us a handful of times. I received hate mail and fan mail and letters of support from strangers, and solidarity nods and “I’m sorry’s” from people who are not strangers to you or me. I went through every emotion on the grief spectrum and came up still holding my own heart in my hands and just desperately trying to piece it back together.
I was angry, I was shattered, I felt like a victim, I acted like it didn’t matter.
I presented myself as every which way I could possibly concoct in order to salvage what little dignity I felt like I was left with when you left me.
But it’s over now.
We’re in different places, we’re different people. I don’t fully remember what your voice sounds like and I’m not confident you could pick me out of a crowd. Time has gone by and the emotions that were once so palpable have dissipated. I’m not angry anymore and you’re not around every corner. We’re not fighting some metaphorical turf war and playing like our friends are children choosing sides in a divorce.
It’s over. We’re over.
But even though we’re effectively over, finite, done – I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have one single regret.
I was a lot of things when we broke up.
I was broken and devastated for a time, constantly peeling myself off of the floor and choosing to drink my dinners instead of taking care of myself. I lost 15 pounds and found myself in the arms of people who made me feel colder than when I was sleeping on the laminate. I was angry for a time. All bitter comebacks and spitting whiskey and preaching about how I couldn’t wait to stare down the girl who decided her place was between you and me. I gained a lot of scar tissue that I used to protect myself from the ability to ever sympathize with girls who “just fell in love” ever again. I turned to people more broken than me, attempting to put them back together with scotch tape and sheer will power. But instead I ended up being sliced by their jagged edges and left in even a more disastrous mess than when you decided all I deserved was a 20 minute phone call on Valentine’s Day letting me know you felt different.
I was a lot of things when we broke up. And I did a lot of things when we broke up.
To name a few I…
Hacked into your email, cursed the day you were born, regretted turning down a potential marriage, fell into the arms of a drug addict, cut myself, starved myself, tried to fucking off myself, took your friend’s virginity, said no to your other friend on more than one occasion, hit on boys, got actually hit by one, stayed with him longer than I ever should have because why not, slept too much, never slept at all, drank too much, drank it all, did some drugs to numb it all, fucked a stripper, fucked some girls, went celibate for months to try and cleanse myself, stalked your Twitter, stalked her Twitter, went viral trying to make sense of why she was maybe the worst person I’d ever unfortunately encountered, dated bartenders, broke some hearts, shelled my own heart off in the process, stayed up nights, staggered through mornings, cried through 2 AM more times than I can count, wrote some things, deleted others, and pieced myself back together again.
But, if you’ll notice, there’s one thing missing from that manifesto.
And that missing thing is the only thing I regret, to this day, that involves you and me.
And that, is this.
I never fought for you.
Sure, I wrote things years later. Sure, I talked about you years before. Sure, I told you through sobs you were the love of my life and that I would never get over you.
But I never said, no. I never said, I’m not going.
I let you go.
I let you go the day I said, “I’m putting your shit in your car, send someone to get it,” instead of saying, “We can’t end like this.” I let you go the day I said, “I can’t force him to want me.” I let you go the day I told the person after you that he mattered. I let you go when I sobbed to you on the phone when he went off and you told me to leave him and I stayed. I let you go when I said, “I hope she’s worth it,” instead of, “Choose me.”
I never fought for you.
I simply allowed you to do you and said some bullshit about fate and yelled some shit about never taking you back anyway. I created a world that led up to this version of me, the version that refuses to cry in front of people and gets scared when people are nice to me and is, for all intents and purposes, a mess when it comes to interpersonal relationships. And I don’t know if fighting for you would have made a difference or if I’d just be a more battered version of the person currently writing this.
But at least I would have tried.
At least I would be able to say, “I tried to save us.” And I can’t say that.
I don’t know if fighting for you or being more difficult and unwavering would have changed anything. Maybe, maybe not.
But I didn’t.
And so we’ll never know.
I only have one regret when it comes to us.
And it’s that I never fought for you. I never fought for us.
I’ve reached a certain level of peace when it comes to our breakup.
You no longer come up in everyday conversation, and I’m almost certain we could pass each other on the street without double taking these days.
I did a lot of things when we broke up. Without question, piecing myself back together has been the most difficult.
But maybe if I’d fought for you, I never would have had to in the first place.