It’s been over a year since we last spoke; a little less since I could think of you and not feel that familiar nauseating knot in my stomach.
I’m in a new relationship; a really good one this time. He reminds me of you, but only in that he is everything you weren’t. He’s compassionate, patient, and understanding. He cares about me, every bit of me, and doesn’t attempt to de-legitimize my feelings. He inquires about my sisters, and he wants to have dinner with my parents. He doesn’t try to keep me away from my friends, and he doesn’t mock the most fundamental pieces of who I am. He wants to be a part of my life so that we can create a new one together.
I remember walking on eggshells around you; how even when I tried my hardest to please you, it was never enough. I could have always done something differently, done it better. I could have been skinnier; less involved in my faith; not so deeply attached to my roots here.
I don’t think you are a bad person, but you weren’t the right person for me. God knows I wasn’t the right person for you, but that didn’t stop me from trying. We were toxic, I know that now. And while one day I hope to forget about you completely, I can see how the tumultuous year we had together was for the best. The good parts, the bad parts, all of it; the year was one long lesson. It was a high price to pay, but the education I received from you was worth all the tears shed.
I think by now I’ve completely removed you from the outer reaches of my personal bubble. Deleted; blocked; removed. I don’t hate you; hate is fueled by passion. What I feel now is indifference. I don’t care if you are successful at work, and I don’t care how you spend your nights at home. I stopped wondering if I would ever bump into you in New York, and all of your favorite things just became things again.
So why am I bothering right now? What’s the point of this? It’s because even though I’m indifferent to you, I’m not indifferent to what you did to me. I still suffer from the ramifications of that year; from the long-lasting effects of a toxic relationship. The poison is no longer coursing through my veins, but the side-effects still flare up sometimes. There’s the insecurity and the distrust; the fear of being discarded, of being left behind for something better.
You know what helps, though? The new guy is my friend. In fact, he’s been my friend for quite a while now. I think that’s what you and I were missing – friendship. Friends don’t cast judgment; friends aren’t selfish. Friends want the absolute best for each other. You wanted the best for yourself, and you made it very clear that you didn’t believe I was the best for you. You still pulled me in, though. You made me believe we could have a fairy-tale love if only I did what you asked; if only I renounced my faith; if only I didn’t attend my family’s gatherings; if only I put you above all else. Did we love each other? In our own distorted way, yes. But it wasn’t true love. True love puts the other first. True love is sacrificial.
Good things come to those who wait. I’m glad I waited. I’m glad I trusted my gut and didn’t chase dreams that weren’t mine. I hope you’re happy, and I hope you’re well, but I hope we never meet again.