I thought I was doing the right thing, you know. In a weird way, it felt like something I had to do. I had to cut myself off – for both of our sakes, because there was nothing more I could do for you. We played the same game, fought the same fights round after round and both of us seemed to lose every time. I couldn’t bear to watch us destroy ourselves anymore. I was done, played out. Confused, exhausted, angry, hurt and everything in-between.
I’d always assumed that we’d carry on the way we were forever, you know. We were Monica and Rachel, Blair and Serena. A team. We’d walked the same paths together, lived the same things, carried each other and stood side by side and hand in hand for most of our lives.
But we began to fade. Slowly at first, but then we spiralled deeper and deeper out of control and out of love.
Maybe it was your fault.
Maybe it was mine.
I’m sure we’d blame each other.
You spoke a different language that I was tired of having to translate. Somewhere in the labyrinth of your mind, I lost my way. You changed the route – the one I was always so sure of- and I was left alone. That’s when I decided that I couldn’t fix you, and that part of me didn’t want to.
In each other’s eyes we saw different things, and I wasn’t sure I liked my own reflection.
So I gave up: on you, on us. On everything we had and hadn’t yet become. It seemed easier that way, like ripping off a plaster in one go, to just get it over with. They do say a clean cut heals faster. But ours was far from clean.
We had everything, and yet nothing to say to each other. Always hidden behind screens, terrified by the bruises we might leave. I wanted you to hear me, but the words caught in my throat and left a bitter taste on my tongue. Like disappointment. Cutting myself off from you, I thought, would stop me from getting hurt, but those same cuts ran deeper and frustration spilled from them and stained my clothes.
For the first time in my life you made me vulnerable. I was scared of myself and the things I was thinking, the way I was feeling. But most of all, I resented you. Because you didn’t do the thing I thought you would. You didn’t act the way I wanted you to,
I pushed you away because I expected you not to let me. I wanted you to choose me, to choose us.
But you didn’t.
So I stopped trying, and tried to stop caring. My wires were exposed and your hands were made of knives. It was too risky for me to take another chance and I didn’t think you were worth it anymore. You weren’t the same person, but what I failed to realise is that neither was I.
Do you know what made me come back to you? You were just as surprised as I was to see me, so suddenly and out of the blue, holding a white flag in the midst of no mans land, carefully treading over the growing cracks in our relationship and trying to build a bridge.
I remembered New Years Day, waking up alone in the bed we were supposed to share because I thought you were going to throw up from all the vodka jelly and jager you promised my mother you wouldn’t have. How you read the message from the boy I’d told I loved him the night before because I couldn’t bear to do it. The sadness in your eyes when you said it’s lovely, but I don’t think it’s what you wanted to hear. You hugged me and we drank tea and chatted over hazy memories of laughter and buttered toast on my kitchen floor. I remembered that and thought, you were the person that was there for me in one of my weakest moments. When the illusion I’d created for myself came crashing down, it was you stood with the dustpan and brush offering to sweep me up. And it made me wonder why I could do the same for you just one more time.
I’m sorry I put you on pedestal and then punished you when you couldn’t reach.
I’m sorry that I expected too much of you and I’m sorry that I left you when you needed me the most.
When we’re young, everything is so clear cut, so definite. Good and bad. Right and wrong.
But as we grow older, that line merges. The sea of morality becomes murkier, dirtier, and we can no longer see our toes in the sand underneath. We become uprooted, unstable, swept away by a tidal wave of emotion. Because we’re human. We make mistakes. It’s what we do best.
We were a tropical storm, you and I. But we passed.
I promise you that, slowly, I’ll try and fix us, but only if you promise to let me.
To read more of Amy’s writing, visit her blog The Girl and the Words.