They can sense the distance before you even can. They brace themselves for every phone call, every text message, every conversation. They pay attention to all the unanswered voicemails, the pauses, the emptiness surrounding the silence.
They tell themselves they are just being paranoid. They know they’ve done nothing wrong. It’s the just the anxiety, they quietly tell themselves at night. But then one night, you call and say it’s over.
They tell themselves they knew it all along. They saw it coming. They knew it deep down. They just wanted you to be different from the rest of all of them.
But you weren’t.
And now they are just left with their hearts on the floor. And now they are left with the phone in their hand and mascara tears dropping on her bed sheets. And now they are only left with one thing- questions. So many damn questions.
You told her it wasn’t her fault. You told her it was all you. But how can she believe that now?
She replays meeting you for the first time at midnight when it’s raining and there’s nothing left for her to do but think. She remembers every detail. She remembers the way you hugged her and how she had to stand on her tip toes to reach you. She remembers the first kiss, the kiss that sent waves through her entire body. She remembers the talks. The way you held her hand carefully.
She will remember everything you said. The phone calls when you said you’d never blindside her. The conversations when you promised you wouldn’t hurt her. All the times when you reassured her, over and over and over again.
And she won’t even be angry at you. She will just be angry at herself. At her heart. For believing that you were any different.
She will despise herself for trusting you. She will curse the pieces of her heart that fell so hard for you. She will sob loudly, questioning why she even tried at love again.
She will look at herself in the mirror, questioning every single mark and line. She will blame herself for your cowardliness. She will blame herself for your faults. She will blame it all, on her. On her body and her personality and her imperfections.
She will stay up too late, trying to drown out her empty chest with too much food and too much wine. She will always ask herself why. What. How.
She will break open, letting all her hope go down the drain. She will tell herself, never again. Never again will she trust someone without putting a guard up. She will tell herself that love isn’t worth believing in. Because all she has ever been is hurt. Broken. Stepped on.
She will cry herself to sleep for months. Rereading all your messages. Pressing her thumb lightly over your picture. She will be surrounded by shades of black, inside her mind full of demons and monsters for a while now.
All because you let her down. All because you said you wouldn’t. But you did.