Breaking Strange

Were you the one?

I really loved you. Sometimes I would just stare and reach out and touch your face and you would roll your eyes and I would laugh and say handsome and it was a little game.

And sometimes you would roll your eyes and say I loved you too much. And sometimes I did.

I remember one night I slammed our bedroom door and laid on the bed crying and you came in and sat next to me and told me that you didn’t think you could give me what I needed. You said your heart wasn’t fully in it. We still lived together then. This was so long ago. Why didn’t I just end it? I begged you to stay and you did. I accepted a love that was a little less.

And sometimes we would get drunk while making dinner and laugh ourselves silly. And sometimes we would get drunk and you would get mad because I would get wild and you would tell me you lost me and then I would yell and throw things in the street and I wouldn’t let you sleep on the couch because that wasn’t what we did.

Were you the one?

Living with you feels like a lifetime ago. Remember that studio apartment downtown? I loved it. And hated it. I felt like a stranger living there. Everything so cold and new, while I was always making messes. I would wake up early for work and sit on the floor in the dark while drinking my coffee so I didn’t wake you up.

And then living in that apartment across the river. One time I was having a panic attack and crying and ripping at my hair and it was pouring rain outside and you worked from home and I would drive you nuts and so you put headphones on and put on a video for me to watch like a child having a tantrum I just needed a distraction.

The walls were closing in on me. And I was clawing at you to get out.

Were you the one?

And when you moved out my heart broke. I cried myself to sleep for weeks and never told you. I hated your apartment. I hated that you never slept at my place. Once in 5 months only. I hated that you kept telling me this was all for the future. I hated that I kept telling myself everything was great. Fine. Perfect. We were happy. I told everyone we were happy. We had a plan. Lying to myself. Lying to my friends, family. Lying on the internet.

Fighting all the time. About everything and nothing. I said something wrong. You didn’t say a word. Round and round and round we went. I thought you were changing, but it was me. You saw me as how I used to be and I didn’t want to see myself in your eyes. I would touch your face and you would do nothing. You never touched mine and I didn’t want you to.

I loved you too much. I loved me not enough. I was the one. I am the one.

I often think about that girl. That old me. All that anger, burning red fire, yelling, throwing things uncontrollably and lashing out. Angry at myself, at you, at the man who came before you, angry at my body, at my parents, my brothers, angry at the music I used to love that I stopped listening to and the life I had before you and angry at continuously falling backwards and feeling crazy and losing it all the time while my therapist tells me I’m doing great but still can’t sleep and I’m soaking the sheets with sweat from the nightmares I have when I finally drift off.

And you pulled away. We still talked about the future. But you had one foot out the door because I was never a safe-bet-sure-thing-steady-hand. I was always ablaze, running wild, every-man-for-himself kind of girl. And in the end I was pulling away too. And I think we became strangers who knew each other better than anyone had before but just went on loving one another because it felt wrong to not know you and not know me.

Sometimes things don’t work out. Sometimes you are with someone so you can show each other what you want and what you don’t want. Sometimes you’re just supposed to love someone for a little while and that’s okay. And eventually the sadness of something breaking wears off, and you see things for how they really were and not just how you thought they should be. I wasn’t quite sure how to love you, and you tried your best to love me, but we never got it right.

I’ll never again accept a love that is less.

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