I sometimes wonder what she has that I didn’t.
Does she lead a more interesting life? Drive a cooler car and make a larger salary. Does she dress in name-brand clothing and wear shinier jewelry? Lather her lips in designer gloss and powder her face with a shade of rosier blush. Does she care about all the things I never did?
Does she speak with words that I’m not smart enough to understand? Graduate from a fancier college with a fancier degree. Does she read books about topics that I never found interesting? Does she initiate the kinds of conversations I never would?
Does she have curves in all the places that I don’t? Have poutier lips and plumper cheeks. Does she have a tinier nose and more sculpted brow? Does her appearance look all the ways mine never did?
Does she laugh at all of your jokes? Agree with all of your opinions. Never start meaningless arguments that have no ending. Does she ever do anything wrong? Does she think you’re always right?
Does she cater to your every need? Worry about your happiness more than she does her own. Does she ever complain about her terrible day or the stress she has at work? Ever just feel sad for no apparent reason and have no idea why. Does she pretend to always be okay? Hide her negative feelings so well that you have yet to find them. Does she have any negative feelings at all? Is she just enough in every way that I was too much? Is she simple in every way that I was complicated?
Does she give you a kind of love I never did? Display her affection so publicly that everyone knows you belong to her and she belongs to you. Does she say ‘I love you,’ 10 times each day? Text it to you while you’re at work and out with friends. Does she never crave alone time or just need to get away? Is she completely infatuated with you every hour of every day? Does she ever make you doubt the love she has for you in every way that I did?
I had everything that made you leave. What does she have that finally made you stay? Is she everything I’m not? Everything I’ll never be? These are the questions I asked myself after you left me, the questions I asked myself when I learned you promised to never do the same to her.
These are the questions that don’t matter.
She and I are very different people, and even if she was exactly like me, you chose her, not me. You continue to choose her. When I asked myself these questions, when I made these extravagantly damaging comparisons, I never realized that they were only postponing the time when I’d find the person who chooses me.
Questioning what she has that I don’t slows that entire process. It prevents me from accepting everything I am, everything I have, and everything I don’t, every flaw that I’ll never be able to get rid of, and every beautiful imperfection that I continuously struggle to appreciate. Constantly comparing myself to her, convinces me that she’s more deserving of the love I should be giving to myself.
She is not me. She is not the person I was when I was with you, and she will never be the person I strive to become. I accepted that, and sooner or later I found him, the person who loves me, the person who chooses to love me. He is everything you never were.