“I can’t take my eyes off of you.”
Sentences like this would send butterflies through my stomach. I would look at this text and smile down at my phone, keeping it to myself like a sweet secret. I had never experienced genuine attention from a boy.
“You should feel special, always.”
Something I had periodically struggled with. Knowing my own worth, or seeing the good in myself. It wasn’t something that came easy but you were trying to help me with it.
“I love you, and I always will.”
One of the most dangerous promises you can make to someone. Hearing you say those three words for the first time was overwhelming in the best possible way.
These were words I would always dismiss as being lies. There was a malfunction in your eyes that saw me differently, or at least that’s what I thought.
“Are you upset?”
This was your immediate response whenever I seemed out of place. Having you check on me made my heart swell as I thought to myself, this could be a great and epic love that I would never forget.
“I love you and I just really needed to say that.”
After our first major fight, I remember that you were petrified that I would leave you. My consolation to you fell on deaf ears. This seemed like a last resort as he saw the end. I had to reassure him that it was just the beginning.
“People make mistakes.”
An offhand comment you would throw out when I became offended at some small comment that you would make. You might think it was funny until you saw how upset I was.
These words signified how much you did not care about my pain. Said with sarcasm and meant to have a biting edge, I would cry and wonder what I had done wrong. Suddenly I was the one thinking we were through.
“Sorry I just don’t like it.”
You hated the fact that I had other guy friends besides you. The green monster inside of you would roar its ugly head and scare me into disconnecting other communication. Another part of me would resent the hypocrisy in you. How I could not have friends but comments about other girls would spill from your lips like never ending lava.
“I won’t be ok with this.”
This sounded like the last straw to me. The way you would push away any affection I tried to offer you as an apology stung like a knife stabbed into my chest. Every night was spent wondering when I would receive the simple text saying we were through. I vowed to be better, kinder, just a better girlfriend in general.
“It’s not like I was hiding it.”
The excuse you used to make it seem like going out late at night was ok. That it would be ok with me, that it should be. Even though you knew I stayed up worrying about what might happen at these late night gatherings. You went anyways.
“It’ll never happen again.”
One of your many promises that would inevitably be broken by your carelessness. I had heard whisperings of you finding comfort with someone else after I had decided to stay home. When confronted about it, at first you tried to make excuses for it. When I called you out on it, you finally confessed to a drunken mistake that meant nothing. Somehow, I found comfort in these words.
“I’m sorry I’m not the man you deserve.”
You always told me that I deserved better than you, that I was better off with someone else. As if you didn’t know that I hated myself and thought that no one could ever love me. The thing about toxic relationships is that they leave you helpless. They make you feel like you are never good enough. The tightrope that I would walk everyday trying to make you happy left me exhausted. And then you would say that I deserved better.
“I know you’ll probably never forgive me.”
All it took was a week. A week for my world to shatter. I was away for a week and when I returned, you delivered one of the harshest blows I had ever felt. Your confession of finding solace in someone else’s arms because I was unavailable felt like a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. When you told me this, all I could do was sob over the unfairness of it all. Through your tears, you admitted that you couldn’t put me through this anymore. With tears staining my cheeks, I opened the car door and said goodbye to you for the last time.
“Please don’t act like I never cared.”
Whenever I tried to ask you why you did this to me, my voice would take on a spiteful edge. I asked if you ever loved me, if all of this meant anything to you. You threw it in my face and acted like I was stupid for even asking. I was only asking to try to hold in how much I was hurting. If I was bitter and harsh, I didn’t have to feel the overwhelming wave of depression that would hit me in the most inopportune moments. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t see your face in the hallways without wanting to cry.
“I can’t excuse my actions, but I can try to be better in the future.”
I was glad you had finally accepted your guilt but I was still angry. I am still angry and sad. I am angry because you got on with your life as if nothing happened. It was a slap in the face to hear you try to joke with me like we had always been just friends. And I am sad because part of me still loves you. And because when you try to be better, you mean with another girl. Your new love. And I am still here, alone.
A Deterioration of Love
“I can’t take my eyes off of you.”