My friends told me it would come to this one day, back when my tears flowed endlessly and my heart spilled from my chest, broken and wounded. “He’ll realize what he lost,” they told me, “and he’ll come back.”
At the time, my soul, fresh with memories of moonlit walks, dances on my porch and vulnerable confessions only wanted that day to come. I waited for a sign—a phone call, a message. I waited, bleeding, as walls around me crashed in ruin for you to walk through my door and tell me it was all a bad dream.
But you never called. You never came back.
We had it all, and I didn’t understand where I went wrong. I punished myself, replaying the tapes of our last days in my head, trying to make sense of what had happened.
Why did you turn to her? Why wasn’t I enough?
I received no answers, only deadly silence. You left me alone with my grief, a ghost haunting my dreams, your absence everywhere. I lay on the ground in a crumpled heap, unable to eat, unable to sleep, a shell of my former self. I only wanted you, and without you, I couldn’t go on, I told myself.
But then I did.
I rose and stood and put one foot in front of the other. I forced myself out of bed and made myself reclaim passion in my work. I found reprieve in my bicycle, pedaling for hours, replacing tears with angry sweat.
At first, the only thought I had was that I wished you were there. Then slowly, I became content with my own company.
And then I went out with someone else. He wasn’t you, and no matter how kind or funny he was, my thoughts returned to your smile, your laugh. I went home and let my tears flow, but got up the next day and pushed forward. Each time our songs would play and every time my car took me past places where we walked hand-in-hand, I felt the scab break open and ooze. But like all wounds, time is a great healer of broken hearts and it allows for distance so that perspective is not clouded by pain.
I began to understand that your lies and deception were never about me; they were caused by your own demons. I listened harder to the things you had told me and realized you were afraid—not of me, but that you would not be enough.
And you were right. Because what you did is not love at all. Love doesn’t whisper to one while it makes love to another. Love doesn’t hide behind lies. When you love someone, you don’t walk away carrying the cure while the person you love screams your name and writhes in pain.
I learned so much about me from you. You were a mirror that, until the bitter end, reflected so many beautiful things about me that I hadn’t seen before. You showed me that I was special, and I know now that you were right. And when you left, you showed me that I was strong. So strong. Because through it all, I see now that my dogged determination to be alive—to show up to each day and own it—kept me going. And I learned that my love is large, larger than you were able to handle. More fearless, more bold.
And now you want me back.
I am not angry. I do not hate you. I could never turn my back on you, knowing you are bleeding. You were an important part of my life, and our souls will always be connected. I will always be grateful for the days and nights we shared.
But no. I won’t go back.
For a time, I wanted you back at all costs. But not anymore. I know now that I am worth far more than what your heart can give. I am not willing to sell my soul at a dime store cost. And to be honest, I love me too much, but someone else loves me, too. I’m not too fearless or too bold for him. Your failure made me recognize the importance of finding an equal, and he appeared just when I decided that I was enough. We’ve re-written those songs, re-tread those walks, and kissed the scars on each other’s hearts along the way.
He is not you, but maybe that is the point.
You contributed to my life, in the good times and the bad, and so I cannot be unkind. We walked a beautiful section of path together while our lives intersected.
I wish you joy. I wish you healing. And I wish you love along your journey as you move forward without me.
Author: Amanda Christmann
Editor: Katarina Tavčar