You were my safe place.
“I have always said this and will continue to do so. But you are amazing. I just want to say you are worth so much more than you think.”
You were comfort, and solace, and sanity.
“If you’re busy, it’s okay. No rush.”
“It’s always a rush if you’re not okay.”
You were my friend, above all else.
“Am I not seeing you before I leave?”
“It’s okay if we can’t see each other. Doesn’t mean I’m not here for you.”
You were salvation, the only one I wanted to be with when it felt like the sky was crashing down on me.
“You make it easier to breathe. I don’t deserve you.”
You were soft smiles and glimmering eyes and laughing into each other’s chests at midnight.
“Oh, my god, I hate you.”
“No, you don’t.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I know you, and you don’t hate me!”
You were the voice inside my head screaming “trouble” when the grinning boy from my hazy Saturday night ignored my messages.
“Just cancel on him, I don’t know. Seems like you and him are dead. You deserve much better.”
You were the silence that fell over me as you brushed the hair away from my face and stilled me with the idea that there was something more out there, and it was standing right in front of me this whole time.
“Do you want to kiss?”
You were my breath hitching as you took my hand.
“You asking that last time was weird.”
“Next time I won’t ask.”
You were the one who made me believe we would fall into each other.
And you were the one who left me falling apart.
“You weren’t worried about me hurting you, because in order for me to hurt you, you would have to actually care.”
“I mean…do you have a crush on me? Because if that’s the case, then it’s different.”
“Different in that I don’t want to lead you on.”
All I can think about is how you were the last person I ever expected to break my heart. You were the last person who was ever supposed to make me laugh bitterly and dig my nails into the skin of my own palms, thinking I should’ve known better. You were the last person who was ever supposed to leave me crying at three in the morning, bringing my knees up to my chest, gasping for air.
“So do you? Or should I not ask and leave it alone.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
You were the last person who was ever supposed to hurt me.
“What did you want from me?”
“I don’t like you. I was never attracted to you.”
And so I lay here, trying to pick up the pieces of me without cutting myself on the edges of the glass, and I think I do not know how to do this without you next to me, the way you always were.
The worst part of it all is that I can’t even be mad at you, not even a little bit, no matter how much I want to be.
And believe me—I want, so desperately, to hate you and scream your name and learn the taste of liquor and a stranger’s lips under the blinding lights of the club until it doesn’t hurt anymore.
But I’m still defending you to my friends and clutching your shirt to my chest and walking away from the beautiful stranger on the dance floor, wondering why there are traces of guilt left over on my tongue.
Because even though you hurt me, I’m not mad.
And if you think I am, you really don’t know me as well as we both thought you did.
Because when the person who broke your heart is the person who has always healed it, the only thing you can feel is fear.
I’m scared because I cannot believe we’re here, and you hurt me, and we’re growing apart, even though you held me not three months ago promising I deserved everything and more.
I’m scared about what I ever meant to you. I’m scared you never cared about me as much as I cared about you. I’m scared your heart won’t miss me when we go one, two, three weeks without speaking.
I’m scared about what this is going to do to our friendship, if you’re going to be the occasional “how you’ve been,” or the name that’s brought up over drinks with friends, or the person whose eyes I avoid when I spot them from across the room.
Most of all, I’m scared that this will tear us apart. I’m scared that time will stretch the ties that hold us together and turn us into strangers.
I’m scared you will become another boy of my past, someone whose voice I only remember when I’m five too many shots into the night, because you were never supposed to be one of them, you were never supposed to be someone who left my life without saying goodbye, you weren’t, you weren’t, you weren’t.
And I’m scared I’ll become just another girl of your past, someone who took up the space next to you in bed, filling the emptiness in your arms and the loneliness in your guarded heart for a night.
“Who’s going to replace me? And how easily?”
“You’re just finding more reasons to be mad at me.”
“I’m not mad at you!”
“It’s making me annoyed at you.”
“I’m just paranoid.”
“I don’t know what else to say so I’m just going to stop talking.”
I don’t want to do this with you. I don’t want to ache over you. I don’t want to curl up in bed alone at night, wondering where we stand with each other. I don’t want to wait by the phone hoping you’ll call, I don’t want to miss your presence beside mine, your breath hitting my face, your fingers slipping underneath the hem of my shirt, grazing my skin, then lacing beside mine.
I was never supposed to do this with you because you were never supposed to hurt me.
I’m terrified, okay?
I’m so, so terrified for things to change.
“Space is good.”
“Thank you for being my friend and for always being there. That’s forever more than enough for me.”