We’ll never love like this again.
When this is over, we won’t be the same.
Because we might be writing new names into blank spaces but none of us are blank slates anymore. Relationships no longer start at square one. When you meet someone for the first time you’re meeting their every heartbreak, every lie, every broken promise. You’re left carrying all the baggage they should have left behind but stubbornly held onto till it molded them into this beautiful mess. You’re not just falling for the boy his mother raised him to be, but the collective wisdom of ten ex girlfriends and all the things they wanted him to change but he didn’t. You’ll discover the same flaws that made the last one leave and you’ll think the same thing she did- , “I’m different“. That was your chance to walk away. You should have known better.
Instead you’re wearing Ashley’s daring shade of lipstick and Stella’s dyed pixie haircut. You go out to dinner in Lindsay’s little black dress and you’re dabbing on Claire’s favourite brand of mascara. He never bores you with the details of what he loved about them. He’s a gentleman, and he politely pretends you’re brand new, even though every piece of you is a shadow of an ex-lover, and every kiss brings back memories of another. He walks you back to your apartment with his arm around your shoulders, and at the door you lean in to kiss him so hard he sees stars. You just wanted to feel something.
He’s touching your skin but tracing her collarbones, he’s losing himself in finer, gentler memories that you will never understand. You don’t tell him you’re a liar too, he doesn’t need to know you’re better at it. You don’t tell him you fell in love with the boy who smiled at you on the train and when you imagined kissing him your heart beat faster at the thought of betrayal. You don’t reveal the cheap thrills you indulge in when life gets boring and you don’t warn him that the best you’ll ever be is his biggest mistake. He doesn’t notice when you dig your roots into his veins and draw poison to quench a never ending thirst. He doesn’t know you sold your soul to the devil the first chance you got, and your leftover innocence won’t make up for the insanity.
You’ll never replace his first love, and when he doesn’t give you his heart it’s not out of cruelty, but he genuinely does not recall where he misplaced it. What is left is not enough to shatter, you are just the mirror of a mirror, barely leaving an impression. You foolishly poured out your soul at 2 AM in the dark, expecting his warm body to heat up your cold memories, and now you’re nothing but empty. He will miss you but that doesn’t mean he’s not relieved when you leave. He knows how to live without you, just like how he lived without all the others. Practice makes perfect.
You craved understanding but he never wanted to understand you. To get under someone’s skin, tear off the mask, feel their triumphs and their pain, it takes patience and precision. It takes kindness and blind faith. Neither of you had that luxury. It takes a special kind of optimism that diminishes with each round. You were not new to the game and nor was he. When you interrogated him for the last time and whispered “how could you do this to me“, he laughed and replied “you would have done the same“. You vow to never lose again.
When he disposes you he forgets to mention that it isn’t because you’re so disposable. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he really did love you. He just loved himself a little bit more, and at the end of the day you were both better at being alone. When the silence around you began to grow uncomfortable he felt shame for wasting your time. In time, you will thank him for leaving.
When you finally examine the past without a bruised ego blurring your clarity, you discover that every bruise was intentional, and you fought for anonymity because you wanted to be forgotten. You wore a suit of fake skin so you could slip out unseen when needed. Like a snake that can molt on command or the lizard that can detach its tail, you knew how to disappear without a trace.
Nothing feels worse than being left, nothing feels better than leaving.