I never thought I would have said something like that. When you first told me, when I watched as you shattered our happiness all over my apartment floor and didn’t even stay to help clean it up, I hated her for even existing.
I know that wasn’t fair. It’s the irrationality of being more furious at ‘Becky with the good hair’ than the partner who committed the betrayal. It’s wanting to drown any hope of a future for the two of you if it robbed me of the one I was promised. It’s deciding she did this; she stole you. I’m the protagonist and she’s the antagonist. And you’re the poor schmuck who just got caught in the middle.
I had a whole host of nicknames for her. And none that I’m proud of. None that I’d say to her face. For someone who normally preaches so much kindness and compassion, I let my own bitterness cloud that she was a real person. She was just like me – able to love and be hurt.
But if I humanized her, she couldn’t play the villain in my story. And I was too busy remaining pathetically in love with you.
Sure, I was mad at you – furious – but I never once hated you. But her? I spit her name with venom on my tongue.
Matters of the heart don’t always make sense. In fact, they rarely do. We don’t care to stop and assess the situation. We can’t. Everything is on fire, a blur, and we’re just trying to make it back out alive. As painfully simple as it sounds, all I was focused on was waking up each morning and not texting you. Some days, it was an impossible goal. Some days, I thought I’d be the one to drown in all this hurt, this confusion, this loneliness.
I let the misguided idea that, had it not been for her, you’d still be loving me. I planted it, let it blossom. I watered it, tended to it like it was all I had left to hold onto. Because back then, it was.
Yes, everything would have been perfect had you never met her.
Damn, what a load of bullshit. What a stinking pile of denial. I guess I was so determined to keep the fantasy that, in some world, we end up together that I was perfectly content to ignore the reality of the situation. She was right for you. More right for you than I was. You didn’t doubt your feelings for her. You told me, with a tremble in your voice, that you were sorry and you tried to push it aside, but she was undeniable.
Even if it brought sorrow, you could imagine a life without me. You couldn’t do the same with her.
I don’t go looking for happy photos of the two of you. But I know they exist. I used to make myself sick studying them. I tried to figure out what she had that I didn’t. I took a magnifying glass to every pore, every freckle. She became a dissection project. Every mirror I passed became an opportunity to find parts of myself she didn’t have. Parts you must not have liked. Parts you happily traded in for hers.
But I realize now that none of that was true. You weren’t comparing flavors of ice cream. You fell in love. It just wasn’t with me.
I’m glad she brings you happiness. I’m glad you’ve carved a life together and it wasn’t just something cheap and meaningless. I’m glad you found your person. It’s okay that she wasn’t me.