The first time my friends were right. I didn’t listen. I ran to you, heart open. It was yours to break.
This time I was right. Because I knew if I saw you, every piece of myself I managed to pick up off the ground would fall right back, shattered again.
And I heard your voice, and I heard your laugh… I was right. I forgot them but I would know them the second you showed up in my life again after some roundabout morning I didn’t mean to have.
I didn’t mean to see you. Showing up nearly meant the progress I made would be in vain because one word from you and I’d be thrown right back into my own complacency.
But the difference now is I know me. I knew this would happen. I knew seeing you would send me spiraling down a rabbit hole of unrealized fantasies.
I know me. I know me doesn’t feel safe with you now because of what you did. What you said. Because of who you became.
You’re not the man I fell in love with. You’re still a good man. I don’t believe in my heart of hearts there is an ounce of you that would intentionally, maliciously hurt any living creature, even a stray.
Because I know you hate that I love strays. You questioned if I was going to make it to 30 because you thought if I saw a bear in the woods, I wouldn’t hesitate to run after it just so I could see if I could tame it.
You were right. Because you were the bear I ran after. Thinking if I just could just hold you, love you right- be exactly who you needed me to be, you would hold me back.
I wasn’t enough. You walked away. My friends warned me. Held up a big sign over your head that read, “DOES NOT COMMUNICATE. WILL RUN.” And it was communication that led to our demise.
We were doomed. Because I told you my deepest, darkest secrets but you didn’t tell me yours.
Yours: I’m ready to walk away. Every promise that comes out of my mouth is a pretty little jewel to keep you thinking I really do love you. I’m going to hurt you.
You hurt me. Ironically, the first time you truly communicated, you hurt me. The first time you opened up, you hurt me.
And I thought you were going to be my safe house. The place I ran to when I didn’t know where else to go, when the world was closing in on me and all I felt was afraid.
You told me it was okay not to be happy all the time. And I was, happy all the time, but not for you. For you, I was authentically me. Because you invited me into it.
I was the happiest I’ve ever been when I was with you.
So I drove away. Rain covering my car and I couldn’t see because I knew it was coming so in my frazzled mind I left my glasses at home. It was a blur. But I could see you. In your car. Not moving. Not running after me.
That was the moment I knew I had to let you go. That’s where I saw your true character shine through. That’s where I realized my friends had been right from the beginning.
You didn’t want to- the hardest thing for me to admit. No words could describe to you what that means, other than you hurt me.
So watch me drive away this time. Watch me the first time and the last time and every time between.
I know me now. I was right. While I thought I knew you, I know me better. Because I don’t know you.