From Our Readers: This Is Me Asking You To Let Me Go
I saw it coming, I just underestimated the pain it would cause me.
A single text in the middle of the night made me take a hundred steps back when I believed I took ten steps forward. A single text was all it took for me to forget all the bigger problems I had, making you the center of my life yet again. You made me realize at that exact minute, that it is so much easier to say you're over someone when they aren’t right in front of you. But then after months of being MIA, you show up, and I'm tongue-tied, head over heels and over the edge for the same person who hurt me—forgetting all the painful words that took a jab at my heart as if it were a punching bag, forgetting the player who toyed with my heart as if it were a ball you could kick around, bat as hard as you can, rebound, and play catch with— only in this game, no one’s catching, I'm just falling.
Deep in the depths of the remains of my heart, I knew you'd eventually find someone. Find a girl who would do a much better job than I ever did. The girl you'd stay up late for until the crack of dawn regardless of how tired you'd be in the coming hours, the girl you'd want to introduce your parents to with no sense of anxiety because she is as close to perfect that this world has to offer, the girl I can only dream of competing with, the girl whose traits are the root of all my insecurities, the girl who is now in the place I used to be in.
Before that world-crumbling moment, I actually thought I was okay. I fooled myself into believing I was. I was okay not being with you, but perhaps I wasn't okay with you being with someone else. And that’s when I realized the gut-wrenching truth that the past months have been nothing but a charade. I'm not over you. At least not yet.
I was okay not being with you, but perhaps I wasn't okay with you being with someone else.
But being the good friends we decided to be, I mustered up the most believable smile I could manage and said I would support you with whoever you choose, because that's what love is, right? Being happy for someone even if you're hurting. Even if your knuckles are clenched so tight that they turn white, even if it's against all reason, even though your knees are threatening to give out, and even if your entire body feels like it's paralyzed— unable to do anything.
There are days when I want to ask you how your life is going, but I don't, because of the fear of hearing you're happy. Selfish as it may sound, I can't help but be pained by the thought of someone making you smile even wider than I could ever make your mouth raise. The thought simply brings tears to my eyes as I tirelessly refuse to show you how vulnerable you make me, because I deserve better. You and I both know it. But there's no point in wanting what's fair when life isn't.
I distanced myself. I've re-run every imaginable scenario of you and I bumping into each other in my head like movies playing over and over again practicing which lines to; but then it happens, and as I say the words trying to sound as apathetic as I could ever get, my voice betrays me. A stutter here, a crack there.
I'm trying to let you go, so let me. Let me let you go. Don't pull me back in when I've pulled away just because you can. Don't just suddenly show up after you've been gone for so long. Life doesn't work that way. Don't drag me in the same cycle over and over again, because after everything we've been through, I haven't learned my lesson. I will keep coming back to you if you keep coming back for me, but knowing how your mind works, you will walk out that door again and I will be left in the same place you found me in. Never moving forward, never growing as a person. Let me go because you've broken me far beyond repair. Let me go because in my quest to reach your impossible expectations, I lost myself. Let me go because I've been holding on for way too long.
Let me go because in my quest to reach your impossible expectations, I lost myself.
At this point, I've come to terms with the fact that after all this time, I'm still not strong enough to let you go, so please, let me go.
Sent in by Mija Diro. Got your own story to tell? Submit your feels! We'd love to hear what you have to say. If you're lucky, you just might get published in this space, too! Please indicate if you want to remain anonymous. We're also looking for artwork and illustrations to use with the stories, so please send some in if you want to be featured! Please send original, unpublished work only.