If I Were You
A Nu Day
There are three people in this story- him, me and you. Now, how many of us will end up hurt after all this is anyone’s guess. If you ask me why I did what I did, I really wouldn’t know what to tell you. I was searching for something, the way a kid breezes past lonely grocery aisles when he has a sweet tooth. But no one ever told him he was looking too quickly. No one warned him that when you run, things have a way of passing you by.
There’s a part of me that will always love him. I think that’s the way it is for everyone we have loved. But this particular love was destructive. I was young then, unaware of the dangers that conceal behind the guise of love. I married him without a prenup, figuratively, of course. He would have all of me whether or not that relationship worked out. It was chaos, I know but it was our chaos and I gave furiously without requiring anything in return.
It didn’t work out and like a broken wing, my heart was dormant for close to three years. I tried endlessly to fly but it hurt too much. I numbed myself, sure that it was the only way I could survive. I promised I would never give myself the way I did with him. I built an impenetrable wall around my heart. Relationships became logical and unfeeling. Fucking started to feel routinary and mechanical. There was only one goal: to feel better. Slowly and in time, I became stronger. I learned to live my life without anyone seeing I was hollow. I was stronger, yes, but at what price?
And then you came into my life. You changed everything. You made me think that maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t as broken as I thought and I wanted to hold on to the feeling for as long as I could.
One day, you asked to see my heart. Shaking, I held it up for you to see. I was afraid you’d look closely and see the cracks, the pieces of scotch tape and dried-up glue recklessly put into place. I knew you could tell that a part of me was dead. What crushed me was that you stayed anyway. You would kiss me with your eyes closed. I could feel your passion and the pressure to love you in equal amounts.
I wanted to. I really did. It’s just, I had given all my passion to him. I had nothing left to give. Would you be angry if I told you I went to him to see if I could get it back? I wanted to see if that part of me was still there, hiding behind layers of bitterness and sorrow. And so I came to him and over vodka and triple sec, he showed me that my passion was still there, sleeping. Waiting. Why was it so easy for him to bring it out? Was it because he was the last person to make me feel it? Was it because he was the last person who had all of me?
That night opened my eyes to a lot of things. I learned that you could only pick at a scab so many times before it starts bleeding again.
Would you hate me if I told you that I fell into his arms? I do. I’ve been blaming myself nonstop since I left his house, shitfaced and intoxicated late that night. I’m a bad person. Behind all the pretenses and walls I put up, I am an evil, needy person who only takes and never gives back. Cliché as it may sound, you deserve better. You’re a good person who should only be surrounded by rainbows, butterflies, perhaps a unicorn with a golden saddle. Okay, bad image but you get the point.
And I said all this to you with a straight face as we looked out into the city. Your eyes were blank. From afar, I could’ve sworn I could hear a strange bird singing. You couldn’t look me in the eye. Even after my confession, all you could do was blame yourself. I am the bad one here, I corrected. You are beautiful and blameless. You have every right in the world to hate me but you chose not to. I wonder why you chose not to.
Seek vengeance, I offered. Slap me. Hit me. Tell me you’re not just gonna stand there and pretend everything’s fine. Everything’s not fine. I am broken. Don’t you see that? I cannot love you the way you need to be loved. I cannot hold you the way you need to be held. I have never admitted to it but I have always known.
I am broken. I need you to be strong so you can fix me. Can you be strong for me?
Your closed your eyes. I wanted to shake you so you would look at me, so you would talk to me but you had already retreated into your safe place. I let you because I cannot hurt you there. And though it seems that’s all I’m capable of, I never meant to hurt you like this. I never wanted to hurt you the way he hurt me.
You need me to be passionate. I need you to be strong. Could it be that in the end, all we ever do is look for ourselves in each other?
Photo Credit: speed blur