Don’t Be Surprised When I Leave Because You Blew Me Off

Alexandre Breveglieri/Flickr

Did we have plans? I forgot. I’m out right now. Why are you mad? These things happen.

No, in fact. They don’t. Not to me. Not when nearly everything you’ve ever said is etched into my brain like cracks on a boulder, and my days are molded around the times and places you promised I’d be seeing your face.

These things do not happen to me, and because they happen to you, they’re synonymous with “I care less than you care.” They’re synonymous with, “My thoughts are elsewhere.” I’ve been there before — in the back of someone’s mind where I’m pushed forward only out of convenience or craving or spiked blood alcohol levels — and it is not considered prime real-estate for someone with self-respect.

I’ve dealt with unreliability. I’ve dealt with boyfriends who don’t pick up their phones, who seemingly can’t read two hands on a clock, whose vices and addictions and impulses rank before me on their list of priorities, and I’ll let you in on something that I fought long and hard to realize: I am not your mother. I am not inclined to fix you, and I am not required to stick around.

You get your priorities up and running, and then you call, because I deserve an “I’ll be there” delivered and executed with all the conviction in the world. I deserve a designated chunk of your day, because a chunk of your day isn’t so much allotted time as it is a chunk of your respect and your esteem and your demonstration that you’re opposed to me turning my back on you.

Maybe we mesh well, and maybe you make me laugh. Maybe you’re the primary catalyst behind those thoughts that smack into my skull like birds stuck in an attic, but all of that means nothing if I have to coax it out of you. If you’d rather be anywhere but somewhere accessible, miles away from the phone that’s filled with missed incoming calls and accepted outgoing ones, then consider this number out of service.

The three-strike system is now two strikes too many, and if that sounds extreme to you, trust me, it’s simple to say you’ll be somewhere and then be there, and I know this because I’ve done it all my life. At ten I was the doormat and at fifteen I was the revolving door and at twenty I was the immediate-help-hotline and at twenty four I am absolutely nothing for you or anyone else until you treat me like I am worthy of a “Yes, for you, anytime,” so don’t be surprised when you blow me off and I leave.