Looking back at where we started and where we ended up, I’m grateful to say I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned to tell when I’m being lied to, when to let go, and when to fight harder. But one of the most painful things I’ve learned is that you never meant a goddamn word you said.
I can still remember the first time you told me you loved me. Our best friends were in the back seat, I was driving, your hand in mine. You told me you had a secret to tell me, and when you said those three words my heart was beating out of my chest. It was the middle of the night, and you kissed me so hard I swerved into another lane. I had the goofiest smile on my face all night.
Remembering that night now feels like a different person. I feel like that girl is someone I barely knew. Because how could someone be so naïve, to actually believe you mean what you say? How could any girl believe you love them when your heart is so empty, yet somehow you have no room for love. That’s all I wanted, to love you and show you how valuable you are.
It makes me wonder, reliving those moments, did you ever mean any of it? The I love you’s, the late night talks, the morning texts to tell me how much I meant to you, was any of it real? Or another one of your illusions?
Months later, I sat in my room crying, all alone. It had been so long since I’d slept alone, I think I forgot how to fall asleep without your arms around me. For god’s sake, it felt like I’d forgotten how to breathe without your rising and falling chest to remind me. I depended on you, for everything. I depended on you to remind me I was worth anything at all.
Fighting became our second nature, all those long days. I never got used to it, every minute spent yelling at you, trying to defend myself, begging you to not leave, the hole in my stomach never went away. It didn’t feel right to have to convince you to love me, but lord knows even if I could have walked away, I wouldn’t have. I would have put up with a hundred years being screamed at by you, for one more day being convinced your love was real.
It never was, though. I could spend the rest of my days trying to twist your words into something sweet, something that proved you cared, but your beautiful words mean nothing anymore, stained with the harsh truths that keep me awake at night.
The truths that your insults were never out of anger, or the beer I constantly smelled behind your breath. They were the thoughts you managed to bury while you were trying to convince me you could be genuine.
I can see now, that the nights we spent fighting, I was fighting to keep you, while you saw nothing left worth keeping. The charade couldn’t last forever, as much as I wanted it to. You couldn’t pretend to love me forever. You couldn’t continue to cut me open with your words, and stitch me back up with a half-assed apology. When you finally left, I knew I’d never recover.
That’s the difference between you and me, I suppose. The difference is you could lie through your teeth, pretend to love me, like this sick little game to see how far you could push me. Whereas I could never do any of that to you. I could never lie to you, I could never cheat, or make you doubt where you stand with me. I was always an open book, but you were a locked diary with a pretty cover. I let you see my damage, and you saw the joy in tearing me apart.
If you loved me like you claimed, you’d still be here. If you loved me at all, you wouldn’t have left me with a broken heart, you would’ve tried to fix the destruction you caused. You would’ve tried to prove to me I was worth it.
If you loved me at all, I wouldn’t be sitting in my room right now, all alone, begging god to tell me why you’re not here. I wouldn’t be praying for you every night, asking god to protect you while I’m not there. Things shouldn’t have ended this way, things shouldn’t have ended at all, but I guess that was the closing curtain to your grand show, on how to break someone’s soul. I won’t be around for the encore.