We started too quickly. In just one night we went from being complete strangers to having our own inside jokes and making plans to see each other again. It captivated me, and I smiled to think how I never saw him coming—how mysteriously he had come into my life, and how happy I was now that he was in it.
We walked and talked and held hands. We were that annoyingly cute couple walking down the street that I’d usually hate to look at, but suddenly I was one of them. I’d lean into him as we stood—I felt so secure. We debated over who had more books on their bookshelf and whose selection was better. One night, we told each other everything, crawling deep into the crevices of our own dark, cobweb-infested pasts. I usually try and avoid talking about those things, but he made me feel so comfortable. That was the problem.
Because just as I was getting used to warm arms and kisses and laughs and a security I had never felt before—he disappeared.
It happened so quickly, just like we started. I still don’t know what I did wrong—if I was too annoying or too needy. But one day we had plans, and it was my fault that they fell through, and then he was gone. He never responded to my apology text, and avoided my calls. Maybe I was annoying, I don’t know. For a while I still expected him to call, after all, he’d never been good at communication. But then it all came into focus. The last time we saw each other was the time when my heavy baggage became apparent. When he learned just how damaged I was. So, he ghosted me.
At first, I felt empty. There was so much I wanted to say to him. There’s so much I still want to say to him.
Like how could you run out on me, when you made me feel so safe? How can you just leave me, with no explanation, after everything I told you? You mattered to me, you made me happy, and it felt like I made you happy too. Am I wrong? Tell me.
Tell me why you thought it was okay to make me feel this way, after I apologized. Tell me how all my issues scare you away. You’re so intent on how manly you are; is wimping out and avoiding someone really that mature and manly? Please, do explain.
You hurt me, plain and simple. We were just getting started, and we were great. We could have been even greater, if you wouldn’t have run away. If you wouldn’t have treated me like I was nothing, like I’m too broken to be worth anyone’s time.
Because the last time I saw you, I told you about my dad. About how his death still haunts just about every aspect of my life. About my crazy family and my guilt and mistakes. I thought you understood it, but maybe you were just pretending.
The hurt you brought echoed. It’s echoed all around me until it became all I could hear—reverberating my pain around my entire body. It was in my footsteps, my voice. It consumed me, confused me. You seemed like such a gentleman, until you treated me this way.
The other day I was walking in the park, and the feeling of fall was on the tips of the tongues of the trees. I looked up at my favorite pathway, the one where the trees on either side meet in the middle of the sky just above, embracing each other with warmth. There was this moment, that only lasted for seconds, but that I’ll never forget. The sun twinkled through the branches of the trees, and a strew of leaves came falling down, all at once. The branches danced together, the light sprinkled patterns on the pavement, and I couldn’t help but close my eyes and smile.
When I opened them, the moment was over. And for a fleeting second, I wished you had been there with me to experience it together. But then I remembered how you made me feel, how you treated me. And the want for you was gone.
Because I’m not just heavy baggage. I’m not crazy, or annoying. I don’t have too many issues. The problem wasn’t me, like your silence convinced me it was. The problem was you: Your unwillingness to be with someone who had a past, and your immaturity and disappearing act. The problem isn’t me, because despite what you may think, I am not how you treat me.
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