I loved you.
Yeah, okay, I said it. I loved you. A lot. More than I thought I could love anybody else.
You were a high I kept breathing in. A thrill I kept chasing. An adrenaline rush I never wanted to feel fade.
I could never get enough of it, enough of you, no matter how much I had. I wasn’t happy unless I was suffocating, until you were in my peripheral vision or inside of me.
It was just sex. At least, that’s what it was at first. The first time I came over, you told me not to fall in love, that sex was all it could ever be. I agreed, pulling your lip between my teeth and biting softly to shut you up. I didn’t need love, then. I didn’t even want it. And I especially didn’t care for it with you, because we were unconventional and I didn’t really like you half of the time. So it wasn’t love. And until our end, throughout our series of rendezvous, I refused to believe it could ever be that.
But so far removed, I see it now. I see that I loved you and the hurricane you created in my head.
You set me on fire, and I burned myself alive to keep you warm.
I rose like a phoenix each time you called me. I was happy to destroy myself for you, because I always came back to life each time you decided I was worthy of your time.
But I wasn’t the only one on fire.
You may deny it, but the truth of the matter is that you loved me, too. Because your pupils were the size of planets each time you looked up at me, and the smile hidden in the corners of your mouth and crow’s feet of your eyes, the smile that eventually showed your teeth – something you admitted hating in a moment of vulnerability – the smile that you reserved for me, and only for me, gave it away.
Each time your voice softly whispered “casual, right?” and “fuck” against my lips in the same sentence, I heard it.
Each time you wrapped your arm around me in your sleep and kissed my back to wake me up, I felt it. Each time you called me special – “phenomenal, even” – I heard it. You’ll never admit it, not to anybody in this entire world, but you loved me back.
We loved hard when we claimed we didn’t love at all. You were possessive and I was jealous. You drank to forget and I cried in the bathroom. Each kiss goodbye as I left your house left me a bit emptier as I drove home. We tried desperately to ignore the fact that we had become each other’s vices, but when you stopped smoking and I stopped deleting voicemails, it was obvious.
But ignorance was bliss, and denial was the only way we were able to continue our tryst. Nothing is ever fully fácil, is it, amor? And that exact complication that existed was exactly what threatened to reveal our true feelings.
So we kept our lips shut except for when we were in between your sheets, or when you were calling at two am to invite me over, or when we grabbed dinner because you wanted to talk about your miserable birthday in the car, or when you picked me up for coffee at 11 pm and took me to IHOP because you stopped needing to impress me months before (the same way I stopped wearing makeup because you thought I was pretty without it). And we didn’t confess a single thing, not once.
Even when we ended, we never admitted to each other that there was something beneath the nothing we spewed. You told me you’d miss me, and I told you I’d see you around, and then we never saw each other again, and I’m sure you’ve deleted my number the same way I’ve deleted yours. Your voicemails are collecting dust in my trash, and I know that you’re kissing a hundred other girls nowadays.
I’ve moved on. I loved you, but it wasn’t a forever-love. I know it was the same on your end.
I no longer shower your fingerprints down the drain, and you no longer have to clean my hair from your pillow sheets. I don’t talk about you to anybody, because I don’t feel the need to.
We were fun, and easy, and you understood me, and I loved you more than I thought I could love anybody else – but now I see that I was wrong. You weren’t the one I would ever come home to, say I love you to, share my life with. And that is not a love that lasts forever.
Nothing between us was ever fácil, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t amazing. And I will never regret setting myself on fire if it meant seeing the planets in your eyes every now and then.
So I hope you’re doing well. And I hope, someday, you’ll find it within yourself to admit that maybe, as much as you never wanted to believe it, you loved me too.