You knew it immediately. There was this eerie feeling in your gut. It didn’t appear abruptly or boisterously. Rather, it crept into your stream of emotional consciousness subtly and quietly, like a turtle waddling to a murky pond.
You attempted, for weeks, to combat the feeling. You tried to convince yourself that it wasn’t real and argued that it was a product of your insecurities, or at the very least, the creation of your paranoia.
When that didn’t work, you hunted like a starving piranha for clues to prove your natural instincts wrong. You searched outwardly and inwardly for evidence that he would have never harmed or betrayed the trust that served as the foundation for your relationship.
You remembered every smile, convincing yourself that no other would ever see that seductive little smirk, rehashed every conversation between the both of you as you desperately tried to find solace in the words he once spoke, and reminisced on every plan you and he had ever made, attempting to find security in his futuristic commitments. Yet that feeling still paraded around your gut, ringing the alarm bells resting in your subconsciousness.
So you dug deeper. You speculated that his lips had only been tasted by yours, and his body, with all its perfections and imperfections, was reserved just for your senses—the sight of its nakedness, the touch of its smoothness, the smell of its stink after a long workout, the taste of 1:00 a.m. sweat as your tongue violated his nipples, and the sound of his racing heartbeat pounding in your eardrum as you drifted away to a land called sleep.
As you tirelessly tried to prove his innocence to your subconsciousness, he routinely sabotaged his case.
He did so by the way his words, once wrapped in love and care, became filled with agitation and frustration. He did so by hiding his cell phone when you were in the room, left your texts on read, and never returned your phone calls. He did so by dwindling the amount of time you spent together, the unfamiliar smell of the sheets, and the disappearance of sex.
His sweet kisses turned bitter; all of your invites were answered with maybes, possibly, and I-don’t-knows. His friends no longer had names and your needs no longer mattered.
Suddenly, that feeling, the one that floated around your gut, gained legitimacy. So you asked questions. He dodged, hemmed, and hawed. He called you annoying, invasive, controlling, and crazy.
But you were persistent. As you continued your interrogation, he talked in circles. As he did so, you caught him in a web of lies like a spider trapping its prey. Then you devoured him with the insurmountable evidence he gift wrapped you.
Without notice, he did the unexpected. He whimpered like a helpless Boston Terrier, sighed, and confessed.
You did the expected. You let all your emotions escape your body in the shape of tears. Not loud shrieking sobs, but strong, disappointed, slow-moving tears.
As you looked into his eyes, you no longer saw the future that you saw on the night you first met—vacations, holidays, laughs, kisses, togetherness, and forever. Instead, you saw nothingness.
You allowed his hand to touch yours, hoping it would ease the painful emotions that he had inflicted. But you didn’t feel the warmth that you had felt night after night. He was cold. He had become merely a stranger, one that bartered for your time, energy, and heart.
As you reflect on the relationship, you rehash the wonderful memories and are grateful for the lessons. But you also realize there were consequences from the pain—a new wall to protect your heart, trust issues, and a set of insecurities you never knew existed.