To The Man That Crushed My Soul: Thank You

Ben Warren

I moved to a new city with no one. I was isolated, lost, confused, I felt unloved. Until I met you.

I fell hard. You were older, you were established, you were sweet. You opened every door for me. You held my hand while we drove, you held my hand as we fell asleep. You called me pretty girl. You worried about my safety. You found me a safer place to live. You cared about my papers, you even tried to help me edit. Until one day, you didn’t anymore.

It was quick. The night we met, you asked me out to dinner the next night. After that first date, you said you couldn’t wait to see me again, and could we get coffee the next morning? You had a toothbrush at my apartment. I met all your friends. We watched movies cuddled together on a too-small chair next to your roommate and his girlfriend. You FaceTimed me at work, the four days we spent apart too much to bear. You went away for a weekend, told me you wished I was there with you, and when I saw you again two days later, told me how much you missed me. Until one day, you didn’t miss me at all.

You told me you didn’t want to slow it down, you called me your girlfriend. We made summer plans. You told me you’d love to go to Boston with me. I told my mom about you. I told my friends about you.

You were the real-deal, until you weren’t anymore.

You asked why was I holding back? What was wrong? So I let go. I broke down the wall that so many boys before built up. You weren’t a boy though, you were a man. A man who had strong feelings for me, perhaps as strong as my own were becoming. I let everything go, I let myself fall into your strong, protective arms. I trusted you with my life and my heart, sure. But, then I trusted you with my soul. Until I realized my grave mistake.

I’m delicate. I’m self-conscious. I’m weakened by my own health, and my own head. I never felt that way with you. Until I did.

I knew you were acting strange. I complained my entire visit home. I was mad you didn’t text me in the morning and say “hey cutie, have a great day!” I was mad you didn’t seem responsive. And then you stopped answering all together. My family and friends told me I was being the crazy girlfriend, that you were giving me space to spend time with them. I knew. I told myself it was fine, until it wasn’t.

You broke up with me in a minutes-long phone call. There was no explanation. You said you didn’t see a future. You were cold, you were distant. This was not the man who, two weeks ago, kissed my hand and twirled me around in the parking lot as we left the baseball game with all your friends. This was not the man who, two weeks ago, lifted me up in the parking lot and kissed me as we played with your friend’s kids. I had to say goodbye to my mom after that. I had to sit in an airport after that. I had to go back to a strange city after that. And this time, with no one to greet me. You crushed me. You ruined me. Until you didn’t anymore.

To the man that crushed my soul: thank you. Thank you for showing me that I am made of fire and ice, and nothing else. Thank you for showing me that I am stronger than I thought was possible. Thank you for showing me that my tears do not make me weak. Thank you for showing me that I am enough for myself, that I am enough for God.

Thank you for showing me what I am worthy of: someone who does and says all the right things, who cares about my life, my heart, and my soul. He looks like you, he sounds like you, but he is not you. He is pure. He is true.

Thank you for showing me what to look for, and what to watch out for. Maybe one day I will find him. In the meantime, thank you for showing me that all I need is me. TC mark

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