Today, I am sitting in a restaurant. The one that became our date spot – the usual, the go-to.
Today, I sat and ordered the dishes you and I used to enjoy – they taste different now. I wonder if you know that.
Today, I linger back on the days, hours, minutes, seconds, that haven’t paused to wait for me to heal, that have floated past as I remained stagnant in the same place, the same time, the same numbness I felt the moment I walked out your door.
Today, I wonder what I was doing on this day a year ago. Was I wrapped up in your arms? Was I listening to words glazed with honey spill out of your mouth? Was I smiling at you with that smile I haven’t worn since I left? You, who showed me why love hadn’t made sense before it was with you. You, who took me higher than I had ever been, and shown me new heights, You, who knocked me down just as many pegs – You.
Today, thoughts of you, thoughts of what you did creep into my brain like parasites; they crawl into my frontal lobe and hammer their stakes down in the mud. But limiting that to today would be an understatement, wouldn’t it? Everyday, I am consumed, plagued, frozen by the idea of you. Any person who could connect with me the way you did, any person who could slaughter that connection in one swift strike – the way you did.
Every day, I reflect back to the morning you text messaged me in your cowardice – too lacking of a decent human being to at least call, let alone say it to my face. I remember my fingers shaking as I processed what you were actually telling me, your words rolling off my cornea like daggers –
I’m sorry baby, It was a mistake, I didn’t mean to, it meant nothing to me.
Every day, I torment myself like this, never letting the wound scab over, always ripping it back open with salt covered claws. Taking myself through that day, moment by moment, deconstructing every second like a stop motion animation, as if that will help me understand anymore than I already can’t. Will I ever really understand?
Every day, it culminates to this. I am left with the remnants of the person I used to be, the person you helped create, the person you tore down with those very same hands. The person who fell too deeply, too quickly into a serious relationship but was so entirely satisfied with the love she was given, who wanted nothing more than to spend hours doing anything or nothing at all as long as her fingers were looped around yours and her breath against your chest; the person who has never felt so aligned with another human being and became blindly drunk on that sentiment.
But also the person who, behind the scenes of what seemed like a perfect narrative, you made so absolutely crazy, the person who I look back on and can’t recognize as an extension of who I am now, the person who accepted settling and incessant fighting and putting herself down to satisfy your ridiculous levels of pride, in desperate efforts to keep the taste of the initial love on her bitter tongue. The person who neglected to recognize the increasing toxicity of her relationship and thought all of the pain, the negativity, the self deprecation, and all the false pretenses were just the simple, worthwhile expenses of being in love.
So although your infidelity and the end of our story still sears with the same betrayal I felt on that day, although I do not think I will ever comprehend how you could have gone to such great lengths to tear us down the way you did, although my every molecule still rings with the grief of the trust I had lent to you – I continue to see the beauty in the fact that it was a morbid blessing in the most impressive of disguises.
Today, I sit in a restaurant. Damaged and dull. But today, regardless of the baggage I now carry on my shoulders and the wounds I wear on my heart, I have a firm grip on the reality that you were never the person that I thought you were, and that the love that we shared had only been genuine for a temporary phase – something that would have taken much more time for me to come to terms with on my own rather than through the work of your tainted hands.
Today, I’m aware of these things. Today, although I am broken and haunted, I am still better than who I was a year ago.