Ways to Let Go // 03/19/2017

Fate. Some might call it. A chance meeting. Emily and I do the same thing every weekend. Not this one. I wore white. You, all black. A grin. A flirtatious touch. An exchange of names. Two songs later. We still danced. You wanted a smoke. I cringe at the thought. But you’re cute enough. Outside we go. October night breeze. Goosebumps erect on my arms. You loan me your jacket. Smells of cigarettes. And the right amount of you.

Richmond Folk Festival.

October 11th, 2015.

I said I loved you for the first time and you loved me back.

But your memory is horrible so you’d probably never remember that.

And I hate that I do.

A year and a half later. You were done. And left me yearning for more.

If these bedroom walls could talk, they would tell you how I looked at you while you looked away. Wrapped up in a world all of your own, while my world involved nothing but you. The way

oh the ways

that you held me captive

in

my

freedom.

I don’t want to tell you any of this. I never want you to have this kind of control over me. No one needs to know how you got me addicted to coffee, a few bad habits, and worst of all you. No one needs to know that I’m just another love sick girl who is constantly looking for a man to validate my existence. I am good without you, it’s true. So why do I feel so empty? No one needs to know the amount of hours I’ve spent wishing I was different. Cooler. Prettier. More interesting. Had a talent other than being able to put words together in a tight, straight line that sound nice to some. I wish I hadn’t gained so much weight over the course of or relationship. The steroids are to blame, but don’t feel bad if you don’t feel attracted to me anymore.

Or maybe it was never about attraction. You found it hard to open up to me and that hurt. Did you not feel comfortable or safe around me? Why was it so hard to let me in….

…the way that I enthusiastically opened the door for you.

Sometimes I wonder why I was so attached to you. Why I craved your presence even when you were right next to me. How no matter how close our bodies were, it was never close enough. When you weren’t around I made myself miserable to confirm that, indeed, you were my happiness.

Nothing was keeping me chained to you but my fears. Fears of rejection, heartbreak, and pain. But in the end they

all

came

true.

Jealousy. Obsession. Fear. Insecurity. Possessiveness. Anger. Sadness. Confusion. Regret.

Feelings I hope to never have towards another person. Your love changed me and saved me in many ways.

It’s been hard to talk about this because no one see’s you quite the same as I do. My friends still think you are kind, charming, and funny and have never uttered a foul word about you. (except for maybe how bad your shoes smelled.) Mom still asks about you in a way that is suggestive of hope for reconciliation. But I know better than that. I know all of the ways that you hurt me and you knew exactly what you were doing. How you kept me around to feel comfort and love but never felt a need to give it ba-

But I’ve already said more than I wanted to. I already live with the ghost of you without ever having to speak of you. All the songs we sang together, the places we held hands together, the friends we shared, the shows we laughed at, the holidays we spent together talking about the future. The pets we wanted to raise, children’s names, Washington is a nice place to live but too much rain, Oregon will do. The nights we stayed up listening to your music and playing with words until you got the perfect line. The weekends and sometimes weeknights I spent following you to your shows. How proud I was of you — and still am- for following your dreams. You are the bravest person I know. Or knew. I used to know you. Used to yes. I don’t know you anymore. How easy it is to let go of a stranger.

How easy to forget someone that you don’t know. I wonder sometimes if we ever run into each other what it would be like. For now I plan on ignoring you. Until I am fully released of you, I pretend you are not only a stranger…but not real. A figment of my imagination. Someone I made up in my head….

we all know I’m not that creative.

but

I

can

pretend

.

Your departure from my life makes me sad sometimes, but more often than not it’s relieving. Love that is only active from one side teaches you about yourself. How far you’d go for someone special and how much of yourself you’d leave behind. I got my first tattoo when I was 18. Just two short years ago and already the lines are fading, blending and turning into something else. Not to liken you to a few black lines that a college dropout scribbled onto my juvenile ribcage but nothing is meant to last forever. And you proved that. I am reminded of this on lazy mornings when I am too sleepy to drink my coffee quickly enough. It goes cold. And while it’s not as pleasurable to drink, I still like it. Reheating it would defeat the purpose. It’s cold now and will never again be hot and comforting. I find joy in the change that even the most mundane things endure. You arrived in my life at the exact moment I needed you and while your exit may have come too soon, it was just what I needed. I needed to let

go

of you like the way

you never

really held

me.

Like what you read? Give Jada Perez a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.