Not all love stories get a happy ending. That’s just the way the world works, I’ve learned. It’s not always fair, and sometimes it’s downright cruel the way the universe gives and takes.
We started as pure as any love story could. Slow dancing by the fire in the moonlight. A sweet kiss goodnight. A good morning text. The beauty of a new love brings the potential of a brutal goodbye.
I couldn’t shut up about you. Did you know that? I told my friends your favorite food, I told my mom about the cute message you sent this morning, I told anyone who would listen anything about you because you were my favorite thing to talk about. My best friend told me I’ve never looked happier.
I was like a kid who just got a new toy. You were all I wanted to play with, all I wanted to talk about, all I thought about all day until I could see you again. I would have done anything you asked if it meant I got to see your smile.
So I did. I quit my job you didn’t like, I bought new clothes you’d think were appropriate, I cut my makeup routine in half, just to be who you wanted me to be. Anything you made a slight comment about, I fixed, desperate to hold on to you. Yet when I was crying, begging you to love me properly, nothing changed.
I’m a firm believer in second chances. And third, and fourth. I will give someone a million chances as long as I can see they’re trying to fix the problem, but you never did. After so long of being the only one in a two-person relationship trying, I had to do what was best for me and move on.
Moving on is never easy. Some nights I still dream about you, and some mornings I wake up in tears. Most days I still think about the past, every good memory you left engraved in my mind. Some days I still think about what could have been.
It’s my favorite pastime, to dream about where we could be now. The family we could’ve been, the life we were creating together. Or rather, the life you created in my head full of lies. You knew the one thing in life I’d always wanted was a family with the one I loved, and you took advantage of that. You painted me a pretty picture of the life we would live together in my mind, meanwhile your head was somewhere else. You gave me hope for us then ripped it all away. Was that your plan from the start?
You saw a naïve, innocent, young girl who had never been in love and wanted to give her the ride of a lifetime. You wanted to teach me the best in the world, and then smear it with the worst. You gave me my highest highs and my lowest lows. I would’ve taken a hundred years of those lows for one more day of the good times with you. You made me desperate for one more kiss, one more touch.
I never believed in jealousy. I told all my friends if he gives you a reason to be jealous or not trust him, leave. That is, until I learned about all the other girls in your bed while I wasn’t there. Something inside me changed—my trust, my peace, it all flipped. I no longer find peace in quiet nights by myself, because the silence overwhelms me with the reminder that while I’m in bed alone, you are not.
You turned me into this jealous monster. I felt I had to spend every second with you or you’d be spending it holding someone else. I was suffocating you, and your lies were suffocating me. We both knew we were not healthy anymore; we were running out of air and out of time. I couldn’t close my eyes and hold my breath waiting for you to change any longer. I knew our time was coming.
Here I am, a month or so after you’re gone, finally trying to feel like myself again. I plucked every microscopic piece of negativity, anxiety, and hatred from my life. That does not mean I’ve forgotten you, it means I will no longer dwell on you. I will not hold a grudge and be mad at you, I will thank you for the time you spent in my life and wish you farewell. I will wish you and your new love nothing but the best. I will remember our time together, but I will not let the damage stay.
My next love may be just like you. He might manipulate me, he might lie to me, cheat on me, gaslight me until I have nothing left—the same as you did. But maybe he won’t. I refuse to hurt an innocent soul the way you did mine. I refuse to make the next heart I fall for clean up the mess you made. I am at peace without you, and I will bloom again.