A letter to the one he left behind, because the words unspoken are sometimes the truest – and the easiest to hold on to.
You weren’t bad. You did not fail to make me happy. You’ve impressed me in ways you’ve always refused to listen to. You are not ugly. I wasn’t miserable. I thanked you in many ways until the end – to how you’ve helped me break out of my shell and how you’ve always been a steady piece.
These are some responses I have for your questions. But I wanted to tell you things from my perspective as well – because it seems this has quickly become a thing where you’re a perfect being and I’m shit. We failed. I failed you first, but we both failed.
You are not lacking; we were just not complementing each other in a way that mattered. You are worthy of being loved; just not by me. There is nothing wrong with you; I just wasn’t the one you needed. We were too different. Frankly, we didn’t need each other – but we’ve romanticized that in a way that we did, because it looked good on paper.
We didn’t look good on paper. You were perfectly fine on your own, managing yourself all good and well when I first met you.
But we were in love, that part was definitely true. It’s just that, everything started to burn as complacency set in. Love started to wilt, but none of us wanted to move against it. We were literally slow dancing in a burning room, like that John Mayer song.
The best feet forward that eventually turned up to be lies? I’ve looked past them, dear. You know how I am.
“Because you’re the one that knows my family – you’re the one who exists in the home,” you said. And what did that mean?
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what that meant during the time either. But I knew very well that was a bad omen.
Maybe I stopped caring along the way, because I couldn’t feel anything anymore. I felt like a moneybag; figuratively and literally. I also felt that eventually, once my purpose is spent, I will be thrown away. I’ve even told you that, but you ignored me because you were struggling. And maybe I wasn’t, because yeah – I was in a good place anyway. I just told myself I shouldn’t be selfish.
There are questions I couldn’t answer – like, why should someone get hurt? Or why should you get hurt?
You weren’t the only one. I was hurting, too. In ways you weren’t able to see because you were too busy ignoring the cues. Too busy not to realize that I needed you, too. Too busy wanting to be the one to be pleased – wanting to be the one touched. And you knew me well, dear. You knew very well that that wasn’t the kind of love I needed. I needed you to be passionate. To be true. I needed warmth. I needed you in the night. But it was always about you.
I knew the stagnation happens – but does it really have to be a constant? Maybe that’s what I meant about things being too marriage-y. It was a rush to reality that I did not want. And I’ve told you that. Maybe you never heard, or maybe you’ve swept it under a rug like I did.
What was so complicated about keeping the one you love stay in love with you, and for once stop thinking that the world owes you? But I’ve looked past that. I tried. I kept trying. Trying to stay in love. Tried to. And you cannot lie that I did.
The thing was, love should not have been about trying so hard. And maybe that was my fault as well – I should have told you so we could have tried together. But is that even right? Should love even be about trying?
I should have said this wasn’t working, but I tried to fix it on my own; because I knew what you would say. That you were too broken. That you had feelings. That you didn’t have anyone else. And I guess that was another reality I had to take. That was fine.
You did not deserve that stress. You did not deserve me telling you this wasn’t working because I needed more. Who was I to demand more when my cries were insignificant compared to all the things you had on your plate? So I tried to move past that and tried in silence.
You said you felt things falling apart, but you said nothing. How can you blame me, and ask me if something is wrong with you? Why did you think you had to be all that – all that sheen and perfection, for me to stay in love with you? You didn’t have to be. I needed you. You, without all the expectations. I needed honesty. Attention. Feeling. A moment where we just drop everything on the ground and not care.
Towards the end, we’ve lost touch. Completely. There was no feeling. The feeling died a long time ago and you know that; but we never tried. That was the saddest part, we weren’t trying because we weren’t in love.
And I guess at the end, that is when you realized I mattered, too. This is a feeling I’m getting used to now, to be honest. People realizing too late. I haven’t felt more numb than before. And I was a dreamer. Dreamers should never be numbed down because the realists find them unreasonable. I needed a realist to keep me on the ground – not kill the essence of my existence.
I am sorry if you think I am a liar, but I guess you can think what you want to think. It doesn’t matter now – it’s just sad that you’ve shrunken me to a thing much less than a doormat, and you expect me to glorify you for your pain. How is that fair? How can you be such a binary creature? How can you, who ought to stay with me for the longest time find me to be disgusting?
But I don’t mind. Maybe I am disgusting. But I wish you would understand what happened and why it did. I never intended for it to go this way. And to be honest with you, I’ve always planned on coming home and talking to you about it finally – because I wanted it to work. Maybe all I needed was a pause.
But in the middle of that hiatus, someone came. Someone… raw. Real. Severe. Unnervingly honest. I was an aspect of deprivation drawn to the warmth of truth. Of awakening. Of someone who dreams, but is real. I’ve been dead for the longest time, dear. Knowing him was the first time I’ve felt that I wasn’t.
I was moving towards him in a way unbeknownst to me. It was different. It felt… real. I was real the whole time. I was honest. I was brave. I didn’t have to be that guy that had to be a prince. I felt free. From expectations – from everything. All I had to be was myself, and that was completely fine. And I was desirable. I’ve been empowered. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is it – but I feel that it is. I am but hopeful this turns out to be for the best.
And the thing about that is, I’ve fallen. Hard. I wasn’t sure if I wanted that to happen, but I did. And I am really sorry.
I’m writing this so you would understand, that I did not mean to hurt you the way I did.
I’m writing to you not because I wanted to tell you off, but for you to understand how I feel; how I felt when we were together. That it’s just not you who had feelings – I had them, too.
I’m writing this so you realize where I’ve failed; how much I wish I could make it up to you, but without any real way for me to do so.
I’m writing to you to hopefully answer your questions. I’m writing to let you know that I’ve read your messages, and maybe if I bared my mind, you would at least remember me as someone who stopped holding things in and told you the truth.
I apologize for the way we ended. I know there is no turning back, but know that for the record, we mattered.
I am sorry if I didn’t try hard enough. I am sorry if I stopped believing in the idea of us. I am sorry for wanting too much. I am sorry for wanting to be wanted. I am sorry for wanting to be touched. I am sorry we lost the spark. I am sorry I put too many good feats forward, but not the bad ones. I am sorry for being a pushover.
Before the record breaks, know that I loved you just as much. The sad part is that it died as quickly as it started – when we chose to lose the magic in light of just staying together. Because it was nice to have someone. I guess I thought we would always try to make each other fall in love, even if we were already in love. But that was too magical. Maybe too dreamy. But I’ve realized now that that’s not impossible.
I hope you find him – the one you need. I am sorry if I cannot be that person anymore. I honestly tried, but I am allowing you to believe what you want to believe. I am just hoping when you find the one – make him feel good. Tell him everything upfront – be honest. Tell him what you really like doing, and not tell him what he wants to hear. Make him feel like he matters to you the way you matter to him. As hard as you could. Go in and give him everything you’ve got. Because I know you can.
I might not have worked – we might not have worked. But the next time around, I know you could. Do not rush if it doesn’t need to be rushed. Let it happen. Let it matter and dream. Dream as hard as you can. Start believing that things can be magical no matter how mundane they are, and stop looking at the bad. Stop thinking that you’re not good enough, because you are. Although keep in mind that what you’re good at is not always for everyone.
I guess it’s too late for us now, dear. I think this is where we stop blaming each other, and accept things for what they are. I think this is where things ought to finally stop.