Remember the first time your mother met me? I hid behind you, too shy to do anything other than wave hello and wait for you to report back. She said I was “pretty but a bit short, isn’t she?”, we laughed it off as a harmless addition to an ongoing joke I was used to, but neither of us contemplated it could be the beginning of the end to our story.
Remember the day when she took me to her room and ticked off all the reasons why I wasn’t good enough for her only son? Of course you don’t, because I never told you, did I? I let you walk away thinking I had hurt you inexplicably, but I was trying to save us both from unnecessary pain. I was young but not naive enough to think her opinion of me would ever change, not after years of me being on my best behaviour. I understood the value of family, so I sat in silence and did not contradict a single word she said. I listened to her criticise my own and I wanted to tell her, I understood the value of family more than most, and I would make a wonderful mother one day, but she would never be my in law now, not after this. She didn’t want her son to be with someone who came from a damaged home, and I knew I couldn’t be the one to tear up yours. I was not worth it.
Remember when she took us both to church, hoping that it would awaken something within us? But we just sat at the back with our heads bowed, texted each other and giggled at the absurdity. She was displeased, not with you but only with me, the scarlet woman who led her son astray. I took her child, I stole your innocence, and I was the only one she wanted to blame. It didn’t matter that you were my first, all that meant was you became the first man on a long list of men who made me feel dirty.
Remember when she told me you were always top of your class, you were going to be a lawyer some day, and my grades were just not good enough to be your wife? I couldn’t cook, I couldn’t clean, and if it were up to her you’d be dating my best friend. That was the day I stopped wanting to be someone’s wife some day. You hadn’t done anything wrong but I no longer wanted to be your lover, and let’s be honest, we were never really friends.
Remember when she told me, despite having suffered through depression herself, she’d rather her son was seeing someone ‘normal’, someone happy, someone who didn’t have the problems that I did? She said she wasn’t trying to be cruel or unsympathetic, but she loved her son too much and only wanted the best for him. I was too sad, for too many reasons, I had too many scars. I was not the best.
Remember when I told you I don’t love you anymore? Well I lied, I lied through my teeth and you couldn’t tell, you have no idea how good I am at pretending to be made of ice. Maybe I should have fought for you, maybe you deserved the truth, but the truth is I still love you, and I never really stopped. The truth is, it hurt to leave you, but I was proud. The truth is, losing you left a scar, but it’s my favourite scar now.