I’ve signed your name on the universal list of those whose bravery failed them when it came time to end a quasi-relationship. The list is long, and much like a guest book or headstone, names are printed sans fanfare and on display without a story, history or eulogy recited. Because that’s what is typically done in the datingverse: the broken-hearted cut our losses and the heartbreakers get away with it.
Perplexing how that works, isn’t it? Even though you kept me at arm’s and leg’s length (or perhaps because of it), as an almost-partner I was allowed enough information to be able to strip you down and wave the very worst of you to the world, should I choose to recount the story of how we met, how we courted, and what came to be — not the how but the now. Yet, social constructs remind me that staying mum is the polite and dignified way to be let down by one who I thoughtfully and carefully sewed into my life.
Little else than people like you causes my frustration to bubble and trill like a teapot on the stove. You welcomed me into your virtual arms, then your real ones, and then took time out of your day — your life really — to do your best to make me feel like I am not worth a penguin’s petticoat. I’d be sure it wasn’t your intention to act like you attended Hogwarts School of Douchebaggery except that, well, you behaved as though you graduated summa cum laude. Don’t think the diminishing phone calls, less and less verbose emails and lack of flirty texts went unnoticed. Worse still, you know I know: we both admitted early on to having our hearts badly body-checked recently, to being aware when endings are near.
You’re hoping now that I evaporate, blend back into the woodwork and allow you to be just another pair of eyes, shaggy hair and nose in humanity’s sea of faces on any given Monday. That I take my stitch-ripper and silently break you off from what I’d patched you over. You hope this partly because what I might say next will shine light on the you that you forgot about because it’s too painful to know it resides within you. Because you know that when I tell our story, my version will always win, and I won’t play nice or hold back as I’m wont to do in person. I won’t quite fall in line with social graces, pursing my lips and shrugging as though your retreat didn’t register.
Fading away from me literally doesn’t make you fade away figuratively. I’m still wrapped up in a textual romance, where whens, I can’t waits, and, looking forward to‘s are revisited as I try to understand why once I was actually in your presence, your arms provided what turned out to be a sham of security. Soon all you offered was your body instead of your mind, as though I couldn’t find any other body, as though I am insipid and shallow enough to think that your body is what is sacred about you. As if you hadn’t positioned yourself to quench that of me which was parched to the point of relying you. As if I hadn’t thought you were relying on me for the same, if only because you told me exactly that.
When we spun tales around the beginning of us through mutual wonderings and mental wanderings, we never bothered to discuss what the grand finale might look like. For all your bravado in laughing at the indignities of being alive and being in love, for all your pomp and circumstance of how we’d brush against each other while standing and watching a show, for all your attention to the minutia, I should have realized not once did you say how you’d choose to walk away. Sure, future-tripping like that would be a stumble in the wrong direction, a glimpse at a trail I preferred to ignore as well. But still…If I’d known your final move would be a cowardly act, a deed of leaving me alone with my words to do it for you, I would have known right away you were wrong for me.