To The Girl My Boyfriend Chose Over Me

You thought me a fool, but I assure you I am no fool.

I saw the way you two looked at one other. I saw the way you flirted right before my eyes. I saw all the pictures of you hanging out together, all the times you went over to each others’ houses without even bothering to tell me. As if I was just some naive discarded chess piece you called “checkmate” over.

“We’re just best friends,” he told me. But I told him I didn’t trust you.

“She would never do that to me, she cares about me too much,” he told me. I thought to myself, but she doesn’t care about me at all.

Still, I ignored the signs. Maybe I thought if I pretended the problem didn’t exist, it would go away. But it didn't. My God, it didn’t.

Oh, girl, I cried over you. I sobbed into his arms over you because I was scared — terrified — and insecure. I felt him slipping out of my hands like hot sand and knew things were only getting worse.

Still, he assured me: “We’re just best friends.”

Lies, lies, and more lies. Tell me girl, did you tell yourself that lie so much you began to believe it yourself? Did you believe it while you were with him right behind my back, shielded by a paper-thin veil of deceit?

And tell me, how did it feel to win? To finally get him to break up with me, causing me waves of agony? How did it feel to be officially with him as soon as he called things off with me? How did it feel to have him bring you to parties, show you off on social media, put his hand on your knee while sitting right in front of me, staring me in the eye? How did it feel to know you were putting a dagger through my soul? Or did you not feel anything at all?

Of all the people in my life who have ever betrayed my trust and friendship, you and him take the grand prize. I gave you the benefit of the doubt, and you spat it in my face and rubbed it in like dirt.

Still, you taught me some valuable life lessons by watching you demonstrate the opposite. Lessons on how to act decently. Lessons of simple integrity and self-sufficiency, of moving on and overcoming. Forgiving you has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Sometimes I still feel bitterness in my heart when he texts me, now that you two are no longer together. Sometimes I’m reminded of all the tears I cried and the inescapable pain that hung heavy in my heart for so long.

But sometimes, I’m thankful for you, and how our situation really opened my eyes. Of all of the things that terrible, painful love triangle taught me, the most valuable was that I was shown I deserve better. I know my self-worth and I now know how to rise above.

Like I said before, I am no fool.

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