To The Boy Who Told Me I Deserve Better

Hello. Do you remember me?

Do you remember the sweaty hand-holding in the movie house? Do you remember the sweet messages we’ve exchanged? Do you remember you promised to take me out to a fine, romantic candlelit dinner for two? Do you remember me?

There’s no real reason why I wrote you this letter. I guess I just want you to know how I am faring after you tossed me into the sea before the cruise even sailed. I’m fine, you know. Still making metaphorical jokes no one really understands. Still stressing over dates. Normal stuff. A little busy sometimes. Life’s little nuisances get in the way more often than not. I hardly ever think about you now. Not because there’s someone new but because I actively try not to. Fortunately, it seems like my brain has caught up with my plan not to think of you. But sometimes, I think about you still.

How about you, though? Have you found time to “look for yourself” yet? I hope you did. It’s utterly boring to be someone you still don’t know.

Anyway, I just want to let you know that I still haven’t found anyone better for me. Bad luck, I guess? And not because of lack of trying. I’d been on a lot of dates since you left. It’s a century-old trick: you bury your past by trying to make up for it through countless others. Did not work out for me. Not at all. It’s during these times I think of you the most.

(Don’t worry, though. Just in case you’re wondering, I still haven’t gotten over my fear of first dates. I still fret over how I look and what I’ll say. Just because I’ve tried to go beat 50 First Dates doesn’t mean I’m comfortable about it. I’m trying, though. It’s still hard, you know. That way I know I’m still me.)

Last week, someone asked me to watch How To Train Your Dragon 1 and 2 with him. I said no. Outright. With conviction. With no explanation. I guess you know why. I can’t make it through that movie without remembering how we hand-fed each other popcorn. I can’t make it through that movie without thinking how you kissed my fingers while Hiccup and his mother reunited. And even though I cannot remember a single detail about that fucking film, I don’t think I can watch it. Not without you.

(I heard it was really good, though. Damn you for ruining that for me.)

I remember your car when you picked me up that night. I told you how that was the first time I actually dated someone who insisted on picking me up with his own car, instead of grabbing a cab. Now, when I cross the street, I pray I won’t have to see a car like yours. I’d probably do something stupid, like think you came back for me.

(The other day, I saw one just like yours. Almost got myself killed because I stopped in the middle of the street. You keep giving me new ways to hurt myself. It’s not fair.)

I won’t tell you this in person but I googled you over and over. It sounds stalker-ish but I did (read: do). I read your tweets (thank God your Twitter is public) and casually read almost all of your 2, 776 tweets. Whenever I looked at your profile picture, my heart twinges a little. I think I’m not done missing you.

(This is what you’ve reduced me to. I never took you for a basketball fan, though.)

I always compare your height with them.

(No one ever comes close.)

When someone kisses me, I keep my eyes open now. Do you remember how I loved kissing with my eyes closed and my hands cupping your face? I can’t do it properly now. I probably weirded out some guys when they noticed I was just staring into their eyelids while they’re trying to eat my face. I don’t tell them the real reason why, though. I don’t tell them I’m scared that when I close my eyes, I’ll see how you looked when you first kissed me.

(I’ll leave this here for you.)

Basically, what I’m trying to tell you now is I think you’re wrong when you told me I deserved better. You can’t just go giving someone the best days of their lives and tell them they deserve someone better then leave. You took my heart away with you. I’ve trained my mind not to think of you as often as I did but I still do. Every single day. And every time, it still hurts.

But I guess it’s time to let things be. You went your own way. So did I. And this is where it brought us.

I just hope you meant that when you told me I deserve someone better. I hope you stare at my private twitter profile and fight the urge to click Follow. I hope you google my name just to see how I pop up. I hope that when that Bruno Mars song, “When I Was Your Man,” comes on the radio, you think of me. I hope that when you see a couple anywhere, your heart clenches painfully and you think of me. I hope when you see the poster of HTTYD 2, you remember our cheese-covered fingers and you think of me. I hope when you kiss someone else, you see me instead of him and you think of me.

I hope when you think about all the boys I could have been kissing ever since you left, your gut twists as though you’ve swallowed a bowlful of worms. I hope you stare at your ceiling at night thinking, “Damn.” I hope you stare at my number on your phone, trying so hard to keep yourself from texting me. I hope you hope I’m thinking of you. I hope you think of me.

And I hope when you think of me, you start wishing you never let me go.

I’d probably never write you a letter again. Ever. I just wanted you to know things. Like, how I’d probably still be thinking of you until I get old. Like, how I’d probably always refer to you as “The One Who Got Away.” So, save this one. I’ll never let my urge to tell you things win over my self-preservation instincts again.

You didn’t give me the chance to say my goodbye. This is it. Finally. I’m letting you go.

We both deserve better. TC mark

featured image – Leanne Surfleet

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