I think the reason it takes me so long to move in any particular direction is that I need to validate how I feel by making sure I’ve thoroughly established it within myself. The reason that it took me two or three weeks to tell you that this was bullshit wasn’t as much because I was afraid to lose you or to stand up for myself or stand up to myself or anything, but rather because I hadn’t quite figured out whether or not it was bullshit.
Beautiful girl you like a lot spending every night in your bed. Holding you, kissing you, calling you sweet names… I’d been here before with a number of other people, but it wasn’t like this. I’m not sure what exactly the difference was, but this was too easy to move with. Too comfortable to stay in. The fact that you had a boyfriend somewhere far away seemed inconsequential. Meeting him was insignificant. You telling him that we had sex, coming back and telling me we couldn’t anymore, that was just how things went. And still, every night, you would wrap yourself around me, press your lips to my face, neck, and shoulder. You could call me sweet names. It was too good to push away on the principle that I felt like your plan B.
You told me I wasn’t second-best. I wasn’t your consolation prize. I would nod my head and try to let that seep in. It never did quite deep enough. I guess I was caught between a rock and a soft place, but the rock was the one I really had to hit, it was just really, really unappealing, considering my other option. But I guess it was a matter of self-respect, or just being tired of being strung along, but I finally told you not to kiss me. And we talked about it, and I explained as much as I could figure out how to in that moment. There’s probably a lot more that I just couldn’t get to fit into words, but it’ll come out in another few weeks.
Four hours later, laying in bed, you whispered an explanation. Why it had happened like it had, why you hadn’t put real effort before into changing things, why it was still happening. Why poor willpower was the drive to get you to keep treating me like your on-campus boyfriend. I told you that was a shitty conclusion to your explanation. You told me it wasn’t the conclusion. And you kissed me.
And I kissed you back.
And a little while later, you rolled away from me, with my back still flat, staring up at the ceiling, and I moved to roll over, and you told me not to, because the physical distance between us was intentional on your part and if I rolled over, we might end up making contact. Like the puppy dog I’ve been to you, I stayed on my back for another ten minutes before rolling over and going to sleep.
“You manipulate me, and I realize it, and I feel it, but it hurts you when I say no, so I try not to sometimes despite the fact that one of us needs to know how to.”
“I didn’t want to throw our relationship away as a matter of principle. I didn’t want to be treated like a toy… I didn’t want to walk away from what we’d developed. I didn’t want to be second-best, runner-up. I didn’t want to stop kissing you. I didn’t want to be your number two…”
My heart breaks at these lines. Because I have felt this exact way. These are the words that I wanted to scream at you last night, when I felt so betrayed. When I was sitting in the dark, smoking cigarettes that didn’t belong to me and trying not to let the tears come (and failing miserably). When you acted like nothing was wrong and that I was the one at fault.
You said I was “blowing things out of proportion”. And maybe I was.
But this is the reason why I was.
I don’t want to be tossed around and used as a toy. I want to be taken seriously. I want to be loved seriously.
But I don’t want this, whatever we are, to stop. Ever.
I never want to stop kissing you.
I never want to stop being around you.
I never want to stop loving you.
But sometimes, I just want to close my eyes and let everything - my emotions, these pent-up feelings - just subside for a bit. I want a moment of peace.
I want to clear my mind and let things come to me as I watch the sun peek out over the mountains. And even in that moment, I’ll be thinking of you.