What you wished for while holding your breath as I sped through that tunnel. I wished for the same thing.
And I don't want to make excuses for you or your behavior but tonight I did. And I will continue to do so for quite some time. I don't know what happened. I do but I don't. When we were good we were perfect but when we were bad -- we were miserable. Too many words. The words of others and not our own. Probably one of the most articulated persons I know and yet, no words. No defense, nothing. People were on us, in our business. They had placed us on a microscope and it wasn't fair. It wasn't right. I let them get to me and I know sometimes you did, too.
I don't know if what we talked about on the phone (while my room was still lime green and aqua and my bed was still facing the neighbor's home) was you telling the truth or just a manipulation from the jump. It's hard to say. Whatever the case, at that point -- I decided you needed to be saved. Never asked you if you liked the way things were going for you. Never asked you if you liked eating Jack in The Box every night for dinner. This isn't me trying to be sarcastic or bitchy: I just never asked. Maybe you were okay with the way your life was working. Maybe you didn't want to be saved. And who was I to put such a thing upon myself?
But the story (regardless of it being true or not) broke my fucking heart. I had sat down with myself metaphorically that night and said, "Hey, I know how to love. I might not be good at geography, politics, or mathematics but I do know how to love. I have never had a problem giving someone else love my entire life." Because that's how I was raised. Didn't matter how smart you were, what kind of car you drove. You got a nice, jeweled crown when you meet St. Peter at the end of the line if you were a good person. If you gave love. Nothing came before that.
It hurt me to know that there were actually people in the world who left one another. No one ever left me. I was never out of my parent's sight. Not for two weeks let alone two minutes. I had a happy childhood. A home, not house to walk into at night. Where people yelled and screamed and cried and gathered and laughed. We loved each other and I wanted you to know how that felt.
But that was not my responsibility. When I first started to talking to you, I liked you for what you were then. Not because I had some grandiose idea in my head about what I wanted to turn you into. I loved you. I loved your crooked smile, your haircut (I lied), your clothes, your accent. You were exactly what I wanted because you weren't from California. You weren't like the people out here. Awkward and obtuse and so inexplicably self-absorbed. You called me, you asked how I was doing. You were sweet and you were sensitive and you were young. But so was I. But I didn't feel young. I felt like that previous relationship (whatever you want to call it) had taken years off my life, not months. I felt old. I felt like I had missed something. And somewhere inside of you I saw a second chance.
So I made it happen. I asked and then you and I became us. It's hard trying to build a relationship with someone when you can't see them everyday. But somehow we made it work. I don't know anymore and I don't know if I'll ever know but I never hid anything from you. Because I loved you. And if I did something that I knew was disrespectful or just didn't sit right -- I told you. My insides were no longer organs but monsters, eating at me from the inside out. But who said I had to answer to you anyway? I did.
Because that's how I was raised. Didn't matter how pretty you were, how big your house was. You got a nice, jeweled crown when you meet St. Peter at the end of the line if you were a good person. If you gave love. Nothing came before that.
You told the truth. Even if it hurt. Even if it was embarrassing because that was the right thing to do. So the honeymoon ended and we were in the nitty gritty of things. No need for details, you know as well as I. Maybe one knows more than the other. Maybe we're both hiding something. I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. But I fought. We fought. We tugged and we pulled and we told people to shut up and we stopped talking to certain people for what felt like no reason at all.
Then we gave up. There weren't anymore How-are-you?s, no more. And that pisses me off. It pisses me off to know we let it get that far. Because I wanted you. You weren't like them. I was tarnished and used and old (at least in my mind) and you made me feel like I should have felt going way back before I was even put in school. Like I was special (because I am) and pretty (because I am) and smart (because I am). But that stopped. And I got sad. I depended on you to make me feel worth more than the confines of my cranium. But who said I needed you to validate me?
I did. I told you I needed you. I told you I wanted you. But somewhere .. you stopped. I never got that from you anymore. You didn't need me. You didn't need my advice, my opinion, my help but above all this: I felt like you didn't need my love. And maybe you didn't and that's okay.
My eyes feel heavy and I am running out of words. Please don't think you're alone. Because I know how you feel. I know how it feels to lose your best friend. To have to pretend like you don't care. To wake up in the morning and have to find something new to do. To stare at doorways and blank screens. Empty inboxes. There are two sides. Even now, we're still going through this together.
The fabric is frayed. I see it now. Frayed and tattered but not torn. The loosest knit you'd ever see. Intertwined with even larger, incomplete areas. It makes me sad, just thinking about it.