I am no longer a teenage girl waiting for Prince Charming to show up on a white horse and whisk me away in the middle of the night but hell, I can still relate to the musical heart ache that forms the basis of all of Taylor Swift’s songs. I think we all can, at some point. Especially if you meet someone and fall in love swiftly (forgive the lousy pun, I just had to), and they turn out to be nothing like the image of them you had painted in your mind. Love is the best drug. It is also the biggest liar. Nobody is perfect, but you thought they came pretty close.
I was a mess before you met me – a young, careless and heartbroken girl in a reckless downward spiral after a tumultuous relationship. The typical damsel in distress. You were confident, charming and a stranger. We’d spend hours on the ledge of your balcony talking, going through a pack of cigarettes, we’d make each other laugh; we had read similar books and watched all of the same movies. I made stupid jokes that he would scoff at but you would take me into your arms and tell me to stop being so adorable. You willingly sat through A Walk To Remember even though I fell asleep on the numerous occasions you tried to educate me in Star Wars. We’d go to water parks or sit in a cafe, basking in each other’s presence. I told you all about my Jesus, and I let you in on the darkest parts of my past. You pulled me in and told me I was the most beautiful thing you had ever loved. For awhile, I believed you.
You see, till today, I don’t know how and when it went wrong. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment I stopped being enough for you. I cannot seem to grasp how you went from being my saviour, to the cause of the gaping hole in my heart. I was there when we ended – I cried, so did you. I remember leaving your house in a daze. I ended it, I know that. You didn’t beg me to stay that last time. Before I knew it, I was on a plane to London. A year has passed since I moved away and I’m beginning to forget the way your voice sounds.
It begs the question, doesn’t it? Were you always this person with curt replies and a wandering eye, a man who could lie with a straight face? If you were, how did you manage to fool me for so long? Or perhaps I saw the cracks, but I discounted them because I wanted to live my fictional romance with a character I made out of you, put together the pieces from books I’d read, films I’d seen. That the man I loved had not lived, and eventually I caught myself dreaming. You can’t expect a girl who grew up on Jane Austen not to look for Mr Darcy. I loved to paint when I was younger, and there you were in my mind – my biggest masterpiece.
I was the kind of girl that began sketching her dream wedding dress at the age of ten and kept a scrapbook of materials and cut outs. I was going to marry the man of my dreams and have three children and a cat. We would be so in love, and have so much happiness we wouldn’t know what to do with it. When I met you, those childish dreams began to materialise, they began to be within reach. You fed me with plans ten years into the future, you told me you wanted to have a white wedding and you’d be damned if you weren’t at the end of the aisle I was walking down, in this lifetime. Everything is pastel in retrospect.
Now, I’m still living with the repercussions of your carelessness. I’ve come a long way from the idealistic person I used to be – I do not believe in recklessly falling in love, I believe loving someone is simply a choice you make, with calculated risks involved. You cannot control feelings but you can control who you commit to, and happiness? That’s a single lane on which you drive yourself. Nobody else should be allowed to affect you that way. You should never give anyone that much power over you. Some days, I’m so filled with passion to make something of myself in this life, I’m happy and grateful for the wonderful people who surround me. Other days, I lie in bed wondering why I was not enough for you and relish in the void you left.
But I do not miss you – I merely contemplate you and our ghost of a past. I do not remember what being in your arms feel like and I do not crave your presence any longer. The last time we met since I moved away, I sat across from you, and even the air of the conversation felt different. The coffee soon turned cold, and we parted ways. I think that was when I knew it was truly over, and the person that I had loved so fiercely, for so long, was all a figment of my imagination I’d wanted to believe in. You were not my home anymore.
You were everything I wanted and then you were not and I’ve come to terms with that.