Goodbye and goodnight are two different things. When I mean that I am going to bed, I will tell you goodnight. When I am going away, I tell you goodbye. Last night I told you goodbye, without ever having explained this difference in phrasing to you. But you knew. You knew I was planning to go away. And when you read that, you insisted that the night was simply drawing to a close, not the relationship between us. You didn't say it in so many words, but we have a way of understanding the broken language in which the two of us communicate. We have similar cracks in who we are, so we understand that slightest differences in things can mean the world. We catch the most insignificant things and see the true meaning of words spoken. These little differences have ruined beautiful things before. We cannot let it happen again although the worst has yet to be seen.
My life seemed to have no purpose. It started out as just being a friend. I never knew my words held anything of impact until I thought my life was as useless and she had explained that she had once felt. What started as being a friend, turned into a strong bond that wasn't easily broken. This little girl showed me what it meant to be family; to be there when not even asked. I helped her through her trials, seeming as if I was doing no huge service. But she helped me through mine, and she showed me that even I have purpose. She recounted of the times I saved her life, when in reality, she was saving mine. I see her as my daughter, although I am still young myself. She is mine, and it's always been my mission to protect her from the same hard hits that life tried to hit me with. She is small, she is special. She is a mirror of me. And because of that, I am proud that she has chose to carry me through tough times as I once carried her.
Sometimes getting over a person isn't black and white; it's usually a whole array of grays mixed in with each other. Sometimes it can take you months to get over a certain situation, and sometimes it can happen in a matter of days. No two situations are the same. Despite this, I do think there are things that help speed up the process; there are things that happen that can change everything. And when that small little thing happens, everything really is changed. It gives you a new perspective, either making it easier or harder to move on. And I think that having the possibility of getting something back makes it a lot harder than the things that end in finality. So yes, it can hurt. Like hell even. But at the end of it, he didn't love me the way I loved him. That was apparent. And when I saw that, I got that feeling of finality. It's over. And I'm okay.
I wish he knew what it was like to love fearlessly. I think he did at one point, and maybe he still does. I can't help but wonder what exactly it was that broke him, that broke the loving parts inside of him. Something broke his heart, and so he broke mine. I cannot say that I did not mind, but I can say that I would take it all again. I saw the way he looked at me, in the same way I look at the stars. I felt it in the way he rested his arm around me while driving in the car. He cannot say that love was not there. In fact, he knew it was; that's why he got scared. His heart had gotten used to the comfort he found in pushing people away. For him, it was easier to let go than to just embrace. The saddest part, is that I was same. With this, I know that his mind cannot be easily changed. As long as he lets himself stay broken, so will the love that he tries to give. Love will never be enough unless he allows it to be bigger than himself.
Over the past few years, I have learned so much about love. The saddest part of it is that I still have no idea what it is. I don't understand even the tiniest parts of it. Love is confusing; it hurts. Love is this beautiful thing that can turn a spark into a forest fire. And sometimes that forest fire ends up catching ourselves on fire. Love can complete a person, but it can also burn and break a person's very core. It can last for years, and sometimes it can only last for a month. Love is confusing; it is beyond me. It takes a special kind of person to love fearlessly and to let love run its course. I have not yet figured out how to love this way, nor have I figured out how to make someone love me the same. I am lost, and I am broken. I am waiting for love to set a fire in me, instead of burning me alive.
I told you that I didn't like relationships because that's what you always told me. I didn't want to scare you off, so I lied and sacrificed what I really wanted in order to keep you. I was scared that if I let my guard down for just one second too long, that I would allow myself to be broken. I have never really hated relationships, although I have always claimed that I do. Instead, I have been scared of everything a relationship can do, like the risk of disappointment and the fear of not being good enough. Despite this, I also love what relationships can do. They allow you to find someone who makes your day better while also making you a better person. Don't hate me because I found someone who was willing to give me that. Don't be angry because I found someone who isn't afraid to tell me that they want me. I found someone who drives way too fast, but still holds my hand to make sure I'm not scared. I found someone who sings to me, sweetly, and sometimes so high-pitched that their voice starts to crack. I found someone who tells me the truth, and still sticks around after I've told them mine. I found someone that sends me ugly pictures and laughs right back when I send him mine. I found someone who was just as terrified as me, and we built something beautiful. The only difference between the two is that my someone chose to love all of me, everyday. He didn't just pick the pretty parts and the good days. He committed to the bad ones, and still stuck around to tell me that I am wonderful.
I once read that everything a writer jots down, somehow leads back to one single person. When the focus of my writing shifted from a monster, to a lover, then to myself, I really didn't understand this concept. After a few months of writing about countless things on end, I finally saw the strange connection. Although these stories and paragraphs and poems were all written for different people, they were ultimately written for a single person. Over the course of a lifetime, or even a few years, we often create people in our minds. These people that we create are all different, but every person has their very own. In every person's mind, lies a person created from all of the people they've ever loved; an idea of what they are supposed to be. This is the person we write for. I write for the person that broke my heart, but also the person who made it strong again. The reason I write these words is because I am writing for every person who ever meant anything to me. And I am writing for me because I see myself in the small cracks and pieces of the people I once so dearly loved. I write for my recovery and my past.
Just like you don't have to understand how a wave works to ride it, you also don't have to understand heartbreak to get over it. Some days heartbreak will seem like the strongest force in the world. On others, it will seem like something from a distant past. We don't always understand why our hearts are breaking like they do, but sometimes without even noticing, they glue themselves back together. One day you will be completely torn to pieces about the sound of the song you two shared together on the radio. And the next, it will just sound like background music. Putting yourself back together isn't always about things being black and white. Sometimes the picture is completed in the small spaces that the blacks and whites mix, making the different shades of gray and creating a new picture.
In the first week, I adjusted my ways of everyday life to make it somehow include you. I would walk a longer way in the hall just to see a smile on your face that was clearly meant for someone other than me. I sat in my car during the mornings before class, just hoping to catch a quick glance at you. I texted you over the smallest things, waiting for a reply that usually never came. But in every week following the first, the adjustments became a little bit harder than the weeks before. I started hurrying to class and hoping my phone would die so I could have a reason to stop existing in the world around me. The little things that once made you so special became burdens, or maybe I just saw them for what they really were. You were like the bruised apple of the bunched, and I had somewhat hoped you would taste better than the rest.
It brought tears to my eyes, when he talked about the inspiring way that I see the future. He spoke of my hopes and dreams, and he told me that he was proud. Even with cuts deep in my skin, someone found me beautiful. He told me to open up my window, and see how the stars shined bright in the sky. By the time Earth's light reaches outer space and the stars' light reached us, many years will have already passed. He described that by the time the light in me could reach the outer most parts of this universe, my life would be completely different. I might be married, with little miracles pitter pattering through the house. By the time my light reaches outer space, so much will have changed and I will still be alive, fighting to have a smile on my face. Even though he was miles away, I felt him right next to me. He sang me a song that his mother always sang to him as child. It was a song he has sang over and over again through the phone, but tonight it hit even deeper than the cuts on my body. He showed me the kind of love that I have been searching for, the kind that doesn't forget even when it's been months of no contact. He called me his princess, when clearly I am nothing but a damsel. He made cry, not only all of my feelings out, but also all of the hurt inside of me. He cleaned me out with his careful words. He reminded me that I was beautifully stubborn, and that I have never been one to give up.
For weeks now, I have looked at her and saw more to her than ever before. I have never seen someone working so much, turning all the wheels inside of them. What is she building in there? Was it walls to lock me out, or was it a ladder to get out from the trap she felt I put her in? I may never have the answers, and I am starting to be okay with that. I finally read the letters I received on the day she chose to walk away. I started filling in the empty spaces in my head with the truth, no matter how much that truth hurt. The night I finally read them was the night I finally set a match to whatever she was building. I can see the burnt insides of what she had made inside of herself over the years. I see now that I am no longer to blame for how things end. She has been incapable of love for far too long. I was her practice field, and she is now playing with real people's hearts.
I have a stack of letters sitting in the blue basket near my desk. They are all for different "open when" occasions. I haven't read any yet, except the first one on the day I received them. Reading anymore now seems like a betrayal, to you and myself. The only letter I opened was on a perfect night, before things spun out of control. Over the past few days, I have warred against myself, deciding whether I should read one or not. In a way, it feels like it is no longer my right. I felt the emotions she had for me fade away. So now, reading the words she said before that, is like lighting myself on fire and acting like I never expected the pain. Part of me wants to set my world on fire, but the logical part of me says to set down the match.
Sometimes the greatest injustice is not what others seem to do to us, but rather what we do to ourselves in this process. We wonder aimlessly, looking for an answer or solution in all of the wrong places. We convince ourselves that broken things will somehow make us whole again, and we firmly grasp the jagged shards in our hands. Sometimes these broken pieces turn out being the shattered remnants of what used to be people. We fall in love with the beauty in their cracks, and we somehow see art in all of it. This is the injustice that I mentioned before. The part where we break ourselves over the people who we knew were never good enough for us. We settle for the cracks in sidewalks because that type of imperfection looks like nothing compared to the canyons that lie within us. Our canyons swallow us whole, until we can find something worth filling them with.
The memory of our past drew a thick, sinking line between my backyard and I. It never really came to light, until I was standing in the dark, trying to decide whether or not it was worth crossing to simply retrieve a ball. No, I wasn't scared of the dark. I actually quite loved it. Nighttime was the only part of the day that I felt as if the demons were better at hiding around, instead of inside, my house. I haven't been in that yard in nearly two years, unless I am set on destroying what's in it or myself. I have visited that spot for only two reasons: to pull the vegetables from the garden splayed across the landscape or the to find a way to slowly kill myself. For a while, I believed the garden was a new beginning, something to cover up the old. But as days went by and the garden blossomed, I refused to visit it. It was nearly impossible to see the beauty in something when I knew it rested on top of a tragedy. I am starting to think that maybe all along, I simply wanted something beautiful to grow out of me, out of the tragedy I had become. Instead, I buried my lungs with smoke and tried to blur out the images of the summer I learned to grow up. Now, the only nights that I feel safe outside my own window are the nights that I blow out the smoke that you put into my lungs so many months ago. I'm trying to rid the parts of me that remind me of you. And if it kills me in the process, at least it was smoke in lungs instead of you.
If you think about it, telling stories is the superpower that I never knew I had. I used to paint portraits of my days with the words within my five year old vocabulary. I told of tall tales so often that it became routine. As I grew up, the power of my words appeared to be fading. No one cared about what a scared little girl had to say. Instead of using my words to paint my pictures, I used the silence in between and the colors that no longer lit up my face. I created my own universe from depression and deprivation. Years later when I finally sat down and wrote out the pain, I saw the words grow bigger than they had ever been before. I learned that my words had never been small, only the voice behind them. And my stories had never been forgotten, only failed to have been mentioned. This is where the power of my words lie; in the magic that is created when they are spoken.