I loved you the first time I saw you.
I really can't explain why. I was sitting in that vintage classroom with the green chalk boards and mahogany ceilings, the summer sunshine on my skin, and the happy chatter of students below when you walked in late. You looked at me, and instantly I knew - I didn't stand a chance.
So, when you left like you did, it utterly destroyed me. I kept wondering why... Why you couldn't have at least said goodbye to me. We had plans. I knew you were leaving, that part wasn't a surprise, but we had plans for one final dinner, and I at least had plans to say goodbye. You know, the last thing you said was, "I'll call you in an hour."
Then nothing. For three days, nothing.
For three days I called, texted, and waited - praying that your name would appear on that stupid little screen, that this was all some big mistake. Though I think a part of me knew you were already gone in every way that mattered, I just kept hoping I was wrong. I kept thinking that even if you were in jail or the hospital, of course that would be terrible, but at least then I would know that you were not gone by choice, that your silence had been forced.
I would know that you had not considered your options,
and then chosen to leave me without a word.
Weeks later, I laughed to myself when I remembered that the thing I had feared most before you left, was that you wouldn't want to be with me when you came back. But this outcome? The one where you blew me off for days and then just left - it had never occurred to me. It literally never crossed my mind.
With the crystal clear view of retrospection, I know you never loved me. And that part really is OK. The fact that you didn't feel the same way is not what made the floor drop out. Rather, it was the complete and utter indifference. The fact that you couldn't even bring yourself to acknowledge that anything at all had passed between us, the fact that you couldn't acknowledge me. You made the choice to forget me completely, and I was left alone, grasping at an empty space.
I shouldn't have loved you. I knew better. You were not what they call "quality material". I felt like I couldn't help myself, I wanted you so badly. I never have and never will be addicted to a substance, but you were my perfect brand of heroine. So maybe love is the wrong word for what I felt for you, but it felt right at the time and all I wanted was to drown in it, to drown in you.
In the end, I almost did drown, but not in the way I wanted. After you were gone, for a spell I retreated into my convictions from high school: this was my fault. I was not enough. Not enough to make someone love me. Not enough to make someone stay. In this way though, I have to thank you. Weeks after you were gone, like some lightening bolt from the blue I finally realized: the only thing wrong with me is that I chose to pursue you, even when I knew it was a bad idea. Despite the fact that I even told one of my friends verbatim, "I think this guy will hurt me".
I love to love the wrong people.
But even with this realization, for months I couldn't smile, couldn't sleep, felt like I couldn't breathe. I was so depressed, it's kind of ridiculous. I floundered in the dark waters of my heartbreak, emotionally abused my friends, and was generally a terrible person to be a around. There were times when I felt it would never end, like I would simply feel that way forever.
I don't know when or why it began to turn around, but eventually it did. Maybe it's because I realized that you weren't nearly worth all the damage I was causing, or because what I learned from my lightening bolt finally reached my heart, or maybe it's just because, like a river slowly smoothing over a jagged rock, time really does heal all wounds. All I know is that one morning, I was sitting outside with my friends, eating sandwiches and reminiscing about the tequila-fueled debauchery of night before, and I realized my melancholy was somehow less. I glanced at the Flatirons, felt a sun that had almost thawed through winters chill, and knew that I would be OK.
As I said, in a way I'm glad you did it. I am stronger now than I ever would have imagined before. I learned that I can't pick someone I know is wrong, and expect it to end well. I learned that even the worst sadness will pass if you allow it time and space to run it's course. I learned that anger held close to the heart doesn't burn he or she who lit the coals, but only the hands and heart of the one who holds it.
But with all this, shadows still remain. My sadness that I lost the girl who was so ridiculously happy to have finally kissed you. My distrust of a heart that seems so apt and so eager to lead me towards those who would hurt me. My fear of returning to that place if I ever were to open myself in that way again.
Though I do rejoice at what I gained, I also mourn for those things I lost.
You'll probably never see this and it wouldn't really matter if you did, but I just wanted you to know. I wanted you to know that I forgave you a long time ago, and am just now realizing it's time to forgive myself. I don't know why you did what you did, but I do recognize that I don't know your struggles and that what you did has little to do with me, and everything to do with you. To anyone else who is reading this and can relate, I want you to know that you will be OK. It won't be easy and it will take time, but all things must pass - that much is true.
Keep your head up, your heart open, and be willing to forgive when the time comes.