I was in a relationship for quite a while. It went on for so long that many people asked us when we would be getting married. He was my boyfriend since college and like all the relationships in the world, I thought we would last forever.
It was a shitstorm; I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t mean to check the sent messages on your phone, but I did. While you were taking a bath one day, I saw everything. How you talked about me as if I was a burden to you, as if I was something you wanted to kick out of your life. I can still remember everything that happened after that. With an adrenaline high, you walked into the room and I started crying. There were tears of pain and of anger because I never thought you would cheat on me and fall in love with another woman I know. I wanted to punch you, to slap you, to hurt you – just to let you know how much pain I was in at that moment.
That was the first time you left me. You chose her over me. That very moment, you walked out and chose her. I was consoled by your sister. I went out that day and met up with friends because I knew I didn’t want to be alone.
Being alone was my biggest fear. I was so used to having you around that I didn’t really know what it would be like to be by myself. But I was there, left alone.
Days afterwards, you said sorry. I accepted your apology and pretended like nothing happened.
It was your first job. I was so excited for you and I wanted to hear everything. You told me about all of the things that you did at work and how much you liked your workmates. I was scared that you would meet new people – people that you’d like and people that you may fall in love with, but I didn’t say a thing because I didn’t want to ruin your enthusiasm.
While scrolling through Facebook, I saw some tagged photos. I saw photos of you and your workmates, and you had a photo with this girl. Your smile spread from cheek to cheek and she smiled the same way. I asked you who she was and you told me she was just a friend from work. Days later, though, she sent me messages, telling me to back off and stop bothering you.
I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t answer; I had never fought with anyone. I knew I shouldn’t stoop that low so I sought clarity and consolation from you instead. Still, you didn’t explain anything. And instead of fighting with you, I let you fix us. I did my part and you did yours; we moved on.
Fast forward to 2015. I thought we needed a break. I got a new job that took up most of my time and I knew you would understand because you had always been supportive of the things that I wanted to do or the things that paid our bills.
We went on a vacation and I told you we needed to fix whatever it was between us, but you said no. You said you weren’t ready yet.
Days turned into weeks and I saw the shift. The changes in how you looked at me, in how you held my hand and in how you placed your phone on the table face down. This was the worst of all because I knew what was happening. Your heart had been distant and I could feel that I was losing you.
I needed to take my mind off of things, so I decided to bury myself with work – keep myself busy, so I didn’t have to think about whatever it was that was happening between you and me.
I was on the train home when you texted me – that everything should end and that I shouldn’t bother you anymore. I tried to hold back the tears and think straight. As I got off the train, I decided to go to your house. You were not there and you kept on texting me that you didn’t want to see me, but I insisted that we talk things through. Still, when you got home, all you did was tell me to leave – that it was over. You were choosing her over me. After what felt like hours of begging, I finally gave up. I got all my stuff from your place and left.
As I was walking outside, I knew it was the most painful thing I had to do but it felt like a huge weight was off of my shoulders. It was a good decision; it was for your happiness.
I got home and I started crying. I cried all night and when I woke up, I got messages from our friends asking me who the girl was in the photo that you posted. I didn’t want to see it because it would all become too real if I did. So that morning, I cried again. I stayed in bed the whole day and cried again. But then I decided to go out and meet up with some friends because I knew I needed to surround myself with people. I needed friends or I would lose my mind or cry my eyes out.
These are all the things that happened to us, but these are not the reasons why I regret staying with you. I regret staying with you because I can remember all of this. Each memory is like a ghost haunting me every day, like knives stabbing my heart every time I look at you. I regret that I let these things take over the good and let it control my heart and mind. I regret that when I look at you, I am still reminded of all of this.