I loved you…
But it was my first time. Everything was new. Everything was different. I never knew I was capable of falling in love. Love was unfamiliar to me and I had to adjust. Yes, adjust. You see with family, I was myself. I was strong, willful, decisive. But with those outside of the ones I knew, I was unemotional. I was an extroverted introvert and I could not fathom the idea of letting someone get close to me in such a personal way……but for you…I tried.
I tried to adjust the weight mentally, but it was hard. I had panic attacks every time you said you loved me. I didn’t know how to say it back if that was even what I wanted to say. I was embarrassed every time you asked to me to vocalize my affection for you, my thoughts about you, my like for you. I tried to keep this gate locked, but along the way you persuaded me to give you the key. Promised it would be safe. That I could trust you…but that was asking for a lot.
“I love you,” words finally able to be spoken because you loved me. Because you lured me out of my hole, tempted me to open up, and willed me to be myself. You learned that I was funny. I peaked your interest with my wit. Enticed you enough to call me sexy. The first person to ever call me sexy. Yet, nothing ever reverberated more in my head than when you called my mind beautiful. Then it became easy to love you.
The shell was gone, the hole was filled, the lock was broken. I was the usual me around you and I liked it. So of course I let you in, I let you meet important people, I let you show me how to love you. I was where I wanted to be. Even when others tempted me to love them…I only loved you.
Time passed. Things happened. Life changed us. You became my first ex. Then there were others after you. I compared some things, but you were all so different. It became tiring. So I stopped. I dated myself. I took myself places, I showed myself new things, I taught myself how to be alone, and all of a sudden, I learned how to love me. Then, I craved to be loved by someone else.
I was in college. I had the best time. I hung out. I met attractive people who found me attractive. We were attracted to each other. But I only liked those people. I came home. I had the best time. I hung out where the bores, the loners, and the social crowd all meet up. And I met you again. And you were bewildered by the me you saw in front of you.
You were taken aback by the abrasiveness. You were swallowed up in my cheerfulness. You were standing in the pool of my pride. And from that angle, you figured you could love me again. And of course, I figured I’d try. I wanted to love the new you, but you hadn’t changed. Changed in the sense how leaves fall off the trees and die, only to come back more vibrant than before. You repeated the same lessons. Taught me only one new trick. You used our past relationship as bait to have basis for a new one. But you have to rebuild old foundations to fix the cracks.
I endured because I wanted to. Remember I was strong like that. I pushed to dig deeper. Tried to explore the way I could before. But love is fickle in that way. You had closed doors that were once wide open for me. Switched lanes, gears, sent my brain into overtime. I searched for pieces of love left in us. I found pieces. Fragments. But I was sure that what I wanted I would not find. So I left. To save me from my heart, but mostly from retreat.
I started watching The Misadventures of Flapjack again. I had grew out of the familiar, inferior way you wanted to love me. After soaring, we staggered, then we faltered. Through it all…
I loved you.