Although you never asked. I knew you would. I knew that a ring — maybe big or maybe modest and subtle — was constantly in the back of your mind. I heard your heart talking About me. So even though the words never actually came out of your mouth I know that they lingered on your tongue, waiting for a time, for what you would deem the right moment.
Leaving you behind was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. I feel like a walking cliché every time I say that when your name comes up. I feel like a fraud, like a fabrication of the person you used to kiss and say “I love you” to those times. But even though I hate myself a little every time I lament how difficult it was, I’m telling the truth.
A life with you was the smart choice. Staying with you and your level-headedness and your ability to always be reasonable would have been a responsible choice for a person like me. You gave my existence balance. You gave me balance. I miss that sometimes.
I could see our future, with so many sweet moments, and the stretch marks on my stomach from giving you the kids we talked about having together. I could see ourselves in five years so vividly that it was almost like those versions of us already existed and were right there with you, trying to convince me that this was the right choice. And I wanted to want it, I really did. I wanted us to talk about baby names and who would be in our wedding party and where we would move.
But I didn’t.
I wasn’t built for the relationship you desired from me. I had mistakes to make and experiences to have that didn’t involve a serious relationship. I needed to be selfish. And, obviously, I couldn’t do that with you there trying to hold my hand. I just wanted to be by myself.
You said you would miss me when you left me that night, crying because I knew I was setting myself free at your expense. I think about you and wonder if you do. I know you’re in love again and that makes me happy. Slightly jealous, if we’re being totally transparent, but happy. I want you to have everything you’ve always wanted. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t even minimally hope you think of me for even a split-second from time to time.
I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry I couldn’t be the person you needed me to be when we were still ‘we’. I’m sorry that the thought of you wanting to get down on one knee didn’t make me want to stay. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry I broke your heart.
I see pictures of you smiling with someone else and I feel a residual ache. It’s more of a twinge from not knowing where you’re at and not hearing your voice in almost a year. For some time now, all I’ve known of you has come from behind a my phone screen. But I hope you’re happy, I hope you know I’m sorry, and I hope you’re well.
I hope that you’re at peace.
Most of all, I hope you’re loved to the capacity that you deserve.
I’m sorry I couldn’t marry you, but by choosing not to I’m very much certain we’re both in better places.
At least I hope so.