An Open Letter To The Man I Cheated On

tippi t
tippi t

You loved me. Not unconditionally maybe, but you loved me. And I cheated on you. It wasn’t as planned or simple as the way in which I’m dropping these words here, today. It was three (or four?) years ago, and you’ve settled down with someone since and I’ve made a revolution around the circle of “love” not having reached a specific anything, really.

When we started, I was as into you as you were into me. I’m not comparing or jotting down a number to quantify how each of us felt. But it was a reality none of us could deny. I was at a younger age, brimming with curiosity about the world and you, at an older age, an encyclopaedia of knowledge that I couldn’t miss in the most crowded room or darkest space. You were the answer to my everything – literally – and I, a further question, inquisition, curiosity that you liked to deconstruct every once in a while.

You said I’d inspired you like no one ever had, and I believed you. It overwhelmed me, fulfilled me with an unholy satisfaction that is almost scary, but I believed you.

And then I went off to college and cheated on you. It started with just one night really, and I gave in to an old friend who was visiting and soon, quite spontaneously, broke up with you to be with him. You never knew this, and I’d thought maybe I would never tell you, but then this – the last two years – happened, and I couldn’t not.

In the following weeks – and year – I engaged in another relationship, fulfilling, happy, and forgot about you. When I returned for break, and met up with you as-a-friend, you were angry when all I said during our conversation was that I didn’t want to be with you anymore. You were angry, justifiably, but I couldn’t see past it. How could I? I was so ignorantly happy in my own world with my new relationship.

The year passed, and I ignored your messages, blocked you from my contact lists telling myself I was avoiding a “creep,” whereas, really, I was just hiding from the guilt that I felt every time you contacted me. It was unfair on you, and I never let myself realise that.

Until now. Today. Three (or four?) years later when I have my own baggage of two, three, four records of being cheated on by this person and that, and everytime, every morning-after-finding-out that I’ve woken up to, feeling the pangs of it all over again, I have thought of you. I have thought of you and your words and how I brutally destroyed and distorted them to fit into a reality that only I was comfortable wearing. I have thought of you and I have wondered what you would do if you ever found out and so I decided to write it out – just the way I do (did) when I feel (felt) “loveable” and yet ironically so leave-able by those I have felt cheated by. Because words were your weapon and my weakness and today, it is all I have to reach you in this world so bitterly fallen apart by lies, facts, emotions and people, to be able to transcend that boundary I made up three (or four?) years ago when I cheated on you.

I am here to say I am sorry. I am here to say I am happy you have settled down, that the pictures look good, and I am here to finally tell you that I cheated on you and that since then, I, too, have felt what it feels like to be the residue of a relationship, like spilled water left behind to be dried up by the sun.

I am here to tell you that I, too, know how much it burns. TC mark

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