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I have a lot of things to say to you. But when I try to put my thoughts into words, very little comes out. Much like what happened when we were together. It made for a very smooth relationship. At the beginning it was all so…surreal. We were picture perfect. Every cologne-scented note and late night voicemail was like it was picked out of a movie. I don’t even think we ever fought, not even towards the end of our relationship. Looking back, maybe that’s what was needed? Or was there was nothing left to fight for? I think that a lot of what happened between you and I was because I didn’t speak up and say, “I’m not okay with this”. I was complacent, for fear of losing someone I loved so dearly. I would speak my mind but then take it back. Set boundaries but then let you walk all over them. Only speaking out over text messages when you couldn’t look at me with those eyes I had grown to adore. Most of the time I never got a response back. Maybe I should have tried harder? But if three years with someone teaches you anything, it’s that sometimes no response is a response in and of itself.
I could tell that I was starting to lose you around Valentine’s Day. How ironic. Things just felt different. They felt off. Like there was a space between us and nothing I ever did closed the gap. And I tried. Believe me, I tried. But every time I reached out, you took a step back. That’s around the time you started talking about her. You told me how similar you guys were.
“We go to the same school”.
“She has my sense of humor”.
“Our birthdays are in the same month”.
“We’re practically the same person”.
“She’s my best friend”.
It was like you were trying to convince yourself that what you did (or, were doing at the time) was justifiable. I realize now that you were rationalizing with yourself. And that I watched you do it. And I think a part of me knew that.
A part of me knew a lot of things. I knew about your feelings for her. I knew about the first time you hooked up. I knew before you even told me. And months later, when you started dating both of us at the same time, I knew about that too. I could feel my bones ache when you said you were “out with a friend”. I could feel my chest tighten when you wouldn’t answer my messages and claimed it was because you forgot to take me off of “Do Not Disturb”. But who puts their significant other on “Do Not Disturb”? Someone who is trying to hide the fact that they have a girlfriend, that’s who. Because she knew who I was. You used to talk about me all the time to her. And when you told her we had “broken up” I’m sure she made note of that. But could you imagine what would happen if she saw my name pop up on your screen? Your little secret would be out. You thought you were being sly but you fumbled and tripped over your own lies. Cheat on me once, shame on you. Cheat on me twice? Still shame on you.
After we broke up I cycled through pain, mourning, anger, and sometimes even relief because I knew you couldn’t hurt me anymore. I was devastated by what you did, but even more so that you didn’t see the point in trying anymore. And I think that’s what hurt the most. Look, I don’t want to overlook all the wonderful times we had together. The three years with you were filled with moments of joy and I truly believed you when you said you loved me. At the end of it all I think we grew apart but stayed together because it was comfortable. I guess we were both complacent. But despite everything that happened, I want to say thank you. Thank you for everything you gave me and for helping me through some of the hardest times of my life. Thank you for teaching me how it feels to love and how it feels to mourn the death of someone who is still alive. And most of all, thank you for teaching me how to let go.
I want you to know that I don’t hate you. I really hope that you get what you want out of life and find someone who can give you all the love in the world. I won’t excuse what you did, but I do forgive you. And I hope one day you can forgive yourself.
Your First Love