I begin this while listening to a soundtrack of songs that remind me of you. I have read and reread your letters from happier days. I have (shamefully) stalked you countless times on Facebook. I have watched in frustration and held my tongue when others talk about you or when I have seen you in social situations. I have told you to never speak to me again. I have claimed to have moved on.
However, truth is, I haven’t moved on. As much as I want to move on, tell myself to move on, and can emphatically list all the logical reasons why we are a terrible pair, I still have fantasies of you calling, showing up, begging for me. I shouldn’t. Not after the way you treated me like such a disposable option.
It’s not that you committed any of the serious, classic, offenses. No cheating, no text-dumping, no abuse, no blatant lying (that I am aware of). But, all the times we have tried to patch things up, the end is the same picture–you walking away without a second glance back. Don’t you wonder? Wonder where I am, what I am doing? Wonder what we could have been? Or am I a fool to even think you ever cared that much?
Most of the time, I convince myself of exactly that; that I had you built up to someone you weren’t-someone who cared only half as much as I did. I think I actually could be okay with that; with the idea that I overestimated your affections for me. But it’s the cognitive dissonance I get when I look back at your actions, your emails and letters, things you said with so much conviction and love that it’s hard to believe it was all fake, making it close to impossible to let go 100%.
Just today, a particularly trying day as I am trying to get to the bottom of love and relationships and what it means to me, I pulled up some of your emails from just this last go around, six months ago, in the summer. The emails are long, detailed, loving, funny and personal. They share intimate details of who you are, who you want to be and how much you want me to be part of your future. They say things like: “I miss you already, our texts, our little visits and even just sleeping next to you is so relaxing and comfortable…” and “I’m trying to hold back as much as I can about my feelings that are rushing back for you, and considering how long we were apart, I’ll take all of it in stride, but I’ll be honest with you the whole way and I know you need that from me.”
You asked my options on jobs. You asked me about houses–in case I were to ever live there too. You asked about moving someday to a location a few hours from here. And this is just the last go around. I won’t even bring up the first two times we tried. I had long ago chalked that up to both of us being young and stupid. Until you came back around this time. Seven years later. In the wake of my divorce. A very short wake. You found me, and reached out to me completely unsolicited when you were on my mind the most. It had me completely convinced this was all fate. All perfect timing.
But no, it was all a giant fluke. Which would be also fine, if it didn’t turn into such a heart wrenching fluke. I honestly had felt like everything was happening for a reason, and that we belonged together. That this was our time, our chance, to get it right.
I can close my eyes and in an instant, I am right back on a local beach this summer. I’m looking over at you in the sunlight, looking at me with those enormous brown eyes that melt my soul. You leaned over, and tenderly kissed my shoulder, murmuring that you loved me. You said, “For the life of me I cannot think of what tore us apart before.” I sighed and tried to begin listing some of our previous offenses, but you stopped me said “That was seven years ago and I can’t for the life of me think of anything that will break us now.” I answered with something flippant about taking it slow, as I always (fruitlessly) tried to be on guard, but before I could even finish, you had started kissing me, and the electricity between us whenever we kiss- be it seven years or six months ago- is always enough to stop me in my tracks.
But that moment of pure love and bliss quickly faded as we began fighting. Silly, immature, pointless arguments that left me crying into the night and unable to get out of bed in the morning. You didn’t take responsibility and I continued to instigate. I wanted more. You couldn’t give it. You couldn’t comprehend where I was coming from (divorceville) and I couldn’t relate to you either (perpetual singledom). And with one final fight, I called it over. I said I was done.
Maybe I was. Maybe I changed my mind a minute later. You will never know because you never talked to me again. Never called, never emailed. While the emptiness of my days without my lunchtime texts, mid day emails or goodnight phone calls haunted me for weeks, you never seemed to bat an eyelash. Perhaps it was a performance on your part. But every performance ends. And you still didn’t come back to even see if I was
Instead, I am left wondering who is the crazier one? You, who is acting like a sociopath in how quickly you can turn off your feelings and emotions so easily? Or me, for ever believing you and allowing you into my heart again?
Regardless of the competition for insanity, I guess I still want an answer. Was it that you never really cared? But then why did you bother? Or is that you really are sociopath (or some similar form of mental illness)? Or is there a conclusion I can’t seem to come to in between?
I doubt that I will ever really get my answer. Because even if you gave it to me, I am not sure I would believe you. You have tricked me too many times before. It would take a lot for me to understand and accept what happened and why. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish you would try to explain it, though.
I guess the truth is that maybe you are ‘the one who got away’. Maybe you aren’t. But in the darkest of the night, I know I am still looking for whatever magic, intense passion, feelings of comfort and love that I had with you. My only hope is that I can find it again, even if it is not with you.