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When I Feel This Way This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “Why?” she asked, her tear-stained face looking into my stone-cold eyes. How could she ask such a question? Could she possibly think this was an irrational decision I made on a whim? Could she possibly not know the reasons behind my decision? My face remained emotionless.

“Why can’t you try harder? How can you possibly be so heartless?” she sobbed. Maybe I was heartless, but I hadn’t always been. It had taken months of constant disappointment. I could do nothing right. I was a failure to her, as she reminded me daily. How could I have a heart or soul when I was nothing but a disappointment to the girl who had taught me to love, the only girl I’d ever loved? Did she really expect me to have a heart when my love had never once faded in our time together and yet hers had on so many occasions?

I had only wanted to love her and asked for nothing but her love in return, but because of my failure to cater to her needs, she could not even give that. I would make a “mistake” and her love would falter. What could I do but change my personality and be nothing but obedient and loyal to her requests? That wasn’t me, though, and how could I love her the same way if I weren’t the same person? She asked the impossible. Even if I loved her, what was I to do? It had to end for both our sakes.

“It just needs to end. I think we would both be happier, and I bet we could still be friends.” I had heard these words so many times and could not believe they were coming from my mouth. How could I be so fake? Friends? How could two people who had shared such deep feelings ever dream of taking things to a lower level? I knew friendship was not an option, yet the words slipped from my lips as though my conscience had no control over my speech.

“You always talk like you think things would be better without me,” I reminded her. This was true. She had often said she wished she had never met me so that I wouldn’t have caused her pain. She had told me she truly hated me.

“I never knew I would drive you away. I never thought it would hurt you like this. You never talked to me.” I couldn’t believe the words coming from her mouth. To me, hate was the most harmful word. And how could she say I had not talked to her? I had told her the damage her words had done many times. I couldn’t take this anymore. I had to get away.

“I’ll call you later, Em,” I said, and then did what I believed would be the smartest thing to do - I walked away.

You might think me a cruel and selfish individual, as she did, but I only cared for her and wanted what was best. She might not believe it is true for a very long time, but she is better off without me. She’s a smart, pretty girl who will go far. I want her to forget about me and create a new life in which she can find someone who can make her happy without having to change himself.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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