I remember when you first called me that. Darlin’, darlin’, darlin. It just slipped out of your lips, like you didn’t even know how that word changed things.
We’d talked about the guys before you, and how each left me more broken than the other. Slowly, one by one, they kicked me down, until November, when I was so sure I couldn’t get up again. And then you said it. You called me darlin’. Such a simple, twangy word, followed immediately by a laugh. Those first few months with you were like a patch kit, steadily mending every rip and tear I’d endured before you. Now you don’t make an effort. Days will go by and we don’t speak, because you don’t show an interest and I’m too scared of bothering you. That’s all you are these days, bothered. Irritated. Everything I do or say pushes your buttons.
I’m sorry if my liking you is bothersome. I’ll stop.
When you let days go by and we don’t talk, weeks go by and we don’t see each other, I worry. You told me not to worry, it “bothers” you, it’s your pet peeve. But my pet peeve is liking someone who doesn’t show they care. What I don’t understand is that you did at first. When we were around one another, you couldn’t keep your hands off me. You told me I was beautiful, you kissed my ears just the way I like, you made me laugh, you clapped your hands so I would do my silly victory dance. I felt protected in a way I hadn’t in a long while. I’d made so much progress, and you had been there the entire time helping me along and encouraging me. Why did things have to change? You stopped making the effort to see me. You cancelled on all of our dates, all the times that we planned to go out together for real and be alone for hours. I think that would’ve done us some good. You see, when I’m not around you I forget why it is that I liked you in the first place. Too much time apart makes your laugh, the way you touch me, the look in your eyes when I put my head in your lap, even your adorable stubbly chin slip away from me. It’s almost like amnesia. But you could make me remember those things, if you tried.
Given that you haven’t kissed me in three weeks, that I haven’t seen you in two, and we haven’t talked in one, I think you want to end this. Now we finally want the same thing. It’s awful that of all the decisions in this “relationship”, we can agree on letting go. I’ve forgotten every reason I stayed in the first place, and I’m constantly remembering every reason I have to not stay. Your hostility when I was just trying to share how I feel, your inflexibility when it came to seeing me. You have an incredible ability to make me doubt every redeeming quality in myself, simply because you don’t show me you care. You were unable to see that I liked you in a terrifying, jarring way I never have felt before. Worst of all, you never acknowledged that maybe what I want matters. Maybe you aren’t the only one who gets to decide how a relationship should be. I feel like I’m rambling down a long windy staircase, ready to take the nearest exit out of here and not look back. If our talks ever got anywhere, maybe I wouldn’t be on the second to last step already. You could make me stay, call down to me from the top of the stairs and apologize. I spent so long hoping we would go back to how it was that I would remain there a little longer.
But like I said, we haven’t spoken in a week, and for you to make me stay you’d have to talk to me. Instead of saying all of this to you, I’m forced to verbalize it here, clumsily, desperately. Thanks for that.