Here we are, a year and a half later. One full year after you told me you didn’t love me anymore. A year of feeling like I was going to be okay, a year of picking up the pieces and taping them back together with repurposed scotch tape.
I was fragile for so long and I knew you were my glue, my cement. I spent this last year feeling like I was rebuilding with what I thought was my new cement, my new glue. Indulging in a different relationship that taught me lessons I am grateful for but nothing compared to what you taught me or what we had. Even though I spent the last half year with someone else doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking of you each and every day. It doesn’t mean I was miraculously glued back together. I needed cement; I needed to be concrete again.
Eventually I came to realize I was merely chasing the idea of someone in someone else, not fighting for you like I should have been. I was chasing the idea of you in them. I wanted to feel rock solid again and my own twisted, broken mind pointed to the easiest way out—filling my void with anything, anyone. I needed my cement, my rock.
I am ashamed to still be picking up our pieces. I feel utterly crazy for feeling like this after all this time. I feel like I am begging the universe to pick up our pieces for me. I have spent so much time feeling shame for still being in love with you. For feeling a knot in my throat when I speak your name. For telling only our story when someone asks me about my dating history and knowing that our story is the only one that shook me to my very core, like an earthquake. Our story, our past, could have shattered concrete like a wine glass shatters on the floor. Our story did exactly that to my world. As crazy and disappointed as I feel saying this, I am still picking up the pieces while trying to avoid stepping on a shard of our glass, because I know you won’t be there to patch it up.
While dodging shards of our past, dancing around the tiny remnants of our empty glass scattered across the floor of my heart, I found someone else to be there and help me remove the shards. But then one day, as if you somehow heard that glass break from a hundred miles away, you reached out. You spilled your glass of us out onto the ground right in front of me. You poured your heart out to me.
It was all I ever wanted. You were vulnerable for the first time in a long time. But I dismissed you because I felt like that was the right thing to do. Because of loyalty to someone else who was simultaneously yet unknowingly picking up the pieces of someone else’s story. I spent the last couple months thinking about that moment when I was listening to everything I ever wanted to hear come out of your mouth. I wanted your lips back immediately. I wanted to help you pick up your pieces.
I regret not telling you I needed you again. I regret not fighting for you, for us.
We spoke the night he broke up with me, when he realized he couldn’t fix a glass that was not meant to be put back together by him. I was hysterically crying because of what I thought was sadness but soon realized was just the familiar pain of rejection. I knew what sad was—you taught me that.
Almost instantly, I remember thinking I could finally tell you I only ever wanted you and I could say that without feeling guilty. So I did.
And just like that… silence. There was an emptiness on the other side of the phone. You had checked out from my hotel. Gone before I could get to clean up our mess. Before I could pick up the sheets stained with rejection and vulnerability. There we were. Back to square one. Like that night of pure rawness we shared never happened. Completely erased. I was the definition of sad then. But I wasn’t sad because you did anything wrong. I was sad because I had done this to myself.
I was sad I didn’t speak up and follow my heart. I was sad because I realized I lost you again. I wanted you back so deeply and for so long, but I didn’t fight for you when I should’ve. I blame myself for being lonely right now. I blame myself for not telling you I echoed every word and letter and vowel and breath you spoke that night. I did what I never thought I’d do to you, and that was reject your feelings, your vulnerability, which is all I ever wanted from you.
I should have fought for you. I shouldn’t have chased the idea of you in someone else because I felt like it was the right thing to do—to force myself to move on. I shouldn’t have made someone else responsible for cleaning up our mess of broken glass.
I should have taken a chance and run with it, not away from it.
I should have fought for us. I shouldn’t have doubted your words because they were the truest words I’ve ever heard you speak. They cut like glass, but it was a beautiful pain. I should have told you I still loved you with every fragment of my being.
I should have never broken your heart. Because an eye for an eye is not reality. It’s careless and adolescent. I wanted you to feel the pain of rejection like I did, I wanted you to step on the glass and for me not to be there to pull the shards out. I wanted you to feel what it felt like not to be fought for. And I wholeheartedly regret every decision that I made in that instance.
I should have fought for you because the idea of you is not something I can find in anyone else. It’s you and only you. You are the only one who can help me pick up the pieces, because they are our pieces. You are worth fighting for, although I don’t think I’ll ever get to fight for you again. I suppose I have to live with that decision, just like you did when you didn’t fight for me.
I think I will forever have the residue of our shattered love somewhere in my heart.
It’s a hypocritical mess, you and I, but it’s worth the fight. You’re worth my fight, even if I never get to throw another punch. Even if I have to step on a million more pieces of our glass to get you to come back to help pick them all back up.