Sunday, October 24, 2010
Where to begin? We started out typical. Freshmen year, we had the same english class. He was annoying and I was uptight. I moved away before the next school year but went back to my old school's homecoming to see old friends. The friend I went with ditched me for slow dances and make outs on the dance floor and that's when I spotted him. I walked right up and coyly asked if we knew each other and if he would escort me to the where our mutual friends were dancing. The rest of the night went like a sickeningly cheesy tween flick.
We talked too much for dancing to make sense so we just sat and talked for hours, though we did manage to drag ourselves back to the dance floor for our favorite songs. He gave me his home phone numbers, for his moms and dads, and the night ended with the kiss that didn't happen flickering between our mouths.
We talked all the time. I told him all about the guys I was interested in and dating, and when they let me down. How could I not see that he loved me, even then? In the beginning of what turned out to be a short very intense relationship, I told him we couldn't talk anymore. I couldn't have a serious boyfriend and a flirty guy friend who, at moments, seemed too perfect for me. Then, a few months later, he drunk texted me. In a month we were together despite the distance.
It was real. It was such real love.
Our relationship was tender. Achingly so. Not perfect or smooth but I was so deliriously happy. Even the hard times were like, amazing, because it proved something, didn't it? We talked about the future without even realizing it and his idea for the future was only one with me in it. He couldn't imagine settling down or being with just one person until me. He pictured the house, the beach, the pets, all the same ways I did. We shared music, books, talked about the world, philosophy, religion. He knew me. And so sweet, calling me at times that seemed so inconvenient, from bathrooms and work and all the time, just to hear my voice. Talking about us with his friends to the point they complained about it to me.
He told me that my parents were wrong about me, that I was a good person, that he loved me. Every night, for hours chatting, whispering, wanting, until we stopped having conversation and were swapping dream-hallucinations. He kissed me everywhere when we were together, not wanting any part of me to be left undiscovered. We called each other so many different names that didn't even make sense but were true because we made them up. I wrote songs for him, played them for him. It was his favorite music. We would just hold on to each other sometimes. Just hold on and keep holding like drinking it in. Intoxicating how cute we were, everyone saw us together and realized we realized we were lucky.
Oh, and he was good. No matter where we had to be it was always head-buzzing, ears-ringing, legs-sore-the-next-day good. And that meant a lot to me. That was a big deal. That was special. (Now looking back, it's easy to judge whether or not he's the BEST but it was irrelevant.) He was completely unselfish to the point where he had to slow down to get me to be able to collect myself to try for him.
We fought for good reason. I was with him through everything when he failed his parents and friends, but not me. Never me. He loved me too much to destroy it for himself. He loved me too much to disappoint me. And that 's what made him extraordinary to me after a while, after I realized he wasn't ideal at all. But he was mine, and I actually shucked my pride, my morals, my best interests, and forgave him again and again for what he was doing to himself and to us because that's what love is, that's what love does.
Then, a facebook message. Facebook. In which he confessed he'd been cheating on me all along, in a quantity and depth that should have shocked me...but it didn't. I wasn't surprised to find that he hated himself too much to keep from hurting me. I didn't even cry when he told me, even though he was. Sobbing.
But now, what? I've left you, love. I've written about how you were all a lie and a sham and how I fell for it and how I'm so much better off now, because I am, there's no doubt about it. My life is better now that you're not in it.
But was it real? How could it be when it ended up like this? When you did this to me? How can I believe you? Who are you? Who did I love for so long? Who is this person who didn't remember me whenever he was drunk?
And so many girls. Not just one, not just once.
I feel ashamed of my own self.
And I can't let you go, no. I want to hear all about it. I want you to keep reminding me what you did to me. I want all the details. I want to be able to imagine myself there in the room with each of those seven other girls.
I cringe and part of me dies but its like therapy, hearing you talk about them. Some sick perverted electro-shock therapy that burns you out of me. It makes me miss you less, realizing what you really are.
And how vehemently you denied it.
How offended you were when I asked you.
How could I ever have loved you? I did not. I couldn't have. I could not have loved someone who hurt me as profoundly as you have. I'm smarter than that. I'm better than that.
I lowered my standards for you. To love you. To be with you. And you made me just another piece of trash. Just an out of town snack where you could store up all your emotions and get all the love one person can give to another person because I did, I actually did. I actually gave all of myself. I sacrificed part of who I am for you and that never comes back. I never get that back. And why?
Because you loved nothing. Because you are broken. Because you tore out the heart of me the day before my 18th birthday and I had to leave behind everyone who lied for you. Because I can't stand the thought that those girls, my friends, had known you the same way I knew you. I should have suspected when I heard the same mix CD you'd given me playing in her car. I should have known when you broke your promise to never drink again, told me weeks later after we'd spent a week together at camp, then flatly admitted you never had any intention of keeping that promise at all. I forgave you. Or did I just make an easy out for myself?
And you tell me now that you loved me, and still do, so much. That you are immature and stupid and you would never do it again, now. That all of that is behind you, that you can't believe it had to be me you learned this lesson with. Why did it have to be me? You wish it had been someone else, someone who didn't matter. Because I do matter to you, a lot. And everyone says so. Everyone says they didn't tell me because of how badly you felt afterwards and how much you cared/care for me.
But I don't buy it.
And I will keep asking you for any shreds of whispers or touches you can remember. Because I want to remember, when I miss you, why it is not you I miss, but just an imaginary friend. A toxic, addictive imagination who is now my ghost, the shadow in my mind when I fight off the emptiness.
I will be fine. I will. I have so much going for me. You hurt me, more than anyone else will probably. More than I will ever let someone hurt me again. But I can see my own naiveté. A high school long distance relationship? I knew how desperate you are for flesh. I should have known that you had nothing to stand on, no moral compass, no boundaries which would make you say no. And with how often you were wasted? I just couldn't do the simple equation because I was blinded by a love which didn't exist.
And I'm not sure if I didn't trick myself into it. You are a stranger to me now, and I keep asking you for answers so that I can track down the one I lost. Because I know now that he doesn't exist. But I love you, whoever you are, wherever you are, the shadow that I saw in him. I love you so much and I ache to hear your voice and I will wait for you, I'm waiting for you. Every time I remember him holding me from behind, I'll pretend that it was you. And when I kiss someone else, it will only be because I miss you. Whoever you are, Love, I caught a glimpse of you once, and I'm waiting for you to find me again.