It has been a work in progress over the last several months. I am not sure what finally initiated this process, after years of betrayal, lies, and other women. Admittedly, I had my villainous moments as well. Even when it seemed like we should have fallen off a cliff by now, we always persevered; I always believed we would make it. But I guess it was you telling me that you were in love with someone else that finally lit the fuse; I would no longer be a beggar for your love.
When it first started, I was scared. I was afraid of who I might be without you. For so long, I had been your savior, your go-to person. I was jealous and imagined the women who would now get the attention that you had so sparingly given me. I was angry because I felt like I deserved it all, all of your love and devotion; I had earned it, right?
But suddenly, I didn’t care as much if you didn’t call me back or return my texts. If our conversation went dead, I didn’t try to revive it. Days would go by without a word from you, and I didn’t grow agitated or angry; instead, I felt… free. Free of your problems and free of the burden you continuously placed on me.
There were moments where I tricked myself into thinking it would be okay. We had those moments where I laid down next to you and engaged in all those things that a pair of lovers do. But afterwards, rather than feeling elated and joyous, I just felt a void. There was a growing emptiness inside of me, and you no longer filled it. When you pulled me close to cuddle, I found myself recoiling internally, pretending that I was all lovey-dovey when really I just wanted to run away as quickly as possible.
Again, I thought about how I could salvage us. How I could fix something that I had so deeply cared about. But my thoughts were all in past, and I knew that there was no bringing this love back into the present. I wanted the love to hurry up and fade away so I could just move on fully. Sporadically I kept getting pulled back in but every time I escaped, I noticed that it took more and more to make me feel any sort of affection towards you.
Maybe you started to catch on when I accidentally let the pretense slip and turned my head away when you tried to kiss me. The hurt in your eyes… it made me feel horrible, like I was some sort of heartbreaker when it was really you who had almost broken my heart beyond repair. But you still tried and a small part of me still wanted to believe.
Until tonight, when I finally spoke the words I had been figuring out for months how to say. So many scenarios had crossed my mind, so many opportunities had been missed to just be honest and tell you how I no longer felt.
I did it though. And after, I waited for the regret to sink in, the feelings of anxiety and loss and grief. Instead, nothing came but a wave of relief.
No more pretending.