I miss you, but I shouldn’t.
You were my high school crush, that “perfect” boy just out of my reach, too pristine and pure for a girl as broken as me.
We reconnected in our 30’s, each divorced with children, and I thought this was our time, our chance for happiness—both a little broken, both seeing the best in each other.
There was magic between us, an undeniable connection that overshadowed the blaring red flags of your drinking, your claiming me with an insistent, “You are mine. Say it. Say you belong to me.”
I ignored the voice inside my head; I ignored my gut and I fell into you, like Alice down the rabbit hole. I began to forget who I was. I stumbled. I bent to your every decision, your every wish.
I just wanted to please you. And please you I did.
I began to rethink my beliefs. I surrendered to the small-town girl inside me who wanted to be accepted by someone holy, someone righteous, someone pure.
You explained dominance and submission in a way I wanted to believe was acceptable. You said you didn’t know any other way. I allowed myself to fit into the mold of the submissive partner. I folded your clothes and washed your dishes by hand. I played with your son and chatted with your neighbors.
For the first time in my life, I had no worries.
We played house while my responsibilities floated away. There were no deadlines, no work stress—just you and me in a 1950’s-esque play on the stage of life. I came when you called. We listened to records; you told me you loved me.
I ignored the alarms in the back of my mind. You wanted to save me. You wanted to fix me. I wanted to let you.
Then one day I decided I needed to clear my head. You were unhappy. Accusatory. Out of line.
I found my backbone and told you I needed more time.
Three days apart and you became more demanding, more insistent. Three days apart, and the lust cleared. I came back down to Earth and realized the mistake I had made.
I will never be housewife material. I will never fit into a traditional family mold. And I don’t want to.
I snuggle my cats while reading scientific journals, sipping tea, and dreaming of the sea. I own more books than music. I chant Tibetan prayers, dance naked under the full moon and read tarot cards. I come from a long line of independent women. I am raising two wild, beautiful girls whom I never want to be tamed by society or the standards of a man.
You asked why I was afraid to be happy. Why I wouldn’t conform to what you wanted. Oh, poor man. I am happy, sipping my tea, petting my cats and setting intentions with the new moon. I’m happy with silence, books and my own company. I don’t need you to take me to dinner; I’ll take myself to dinner. And while the intimacy was good, frankly my dear, I don’t need you for that, either.
You are an example of one of the hidden problems in society: one of the righteous people who use religion to gain personal satisfaction and skew biblical phrases to fulfill your darkest desires.
You judge others because they sin differently than you do.
I will never be pristine enough for you. I will never be holy, and I’m grateful for that.
We closed the karmic circle. We gave each other a beautiful gift, and now it’s time to move on.
You are no longer that boy who was too perfect; you will be fondly remembered as the man who almost tamed me.
Author: Becca Wise
Editor: Toby Israel
Photo: Nicky Grasso/Flickr