First Love

As a final goodbye to my first love,

There is no pressure that could have led you to your decisions, and I hope that one day you’ll realize that your actions are no one’s but your own. An obligatory, defensive apology does not suffice. It breaks my heart every day to know that your apology was entirely disingenuous.

And I know- there shouldn’t be any “fighting” for a relationship. Of course our relationship had many ups and downs. I am not denying that I have done you wrong in the past. I still have a pit in my stomach thinking about February. Because you know how it feels to be betrayed, I thought you would never want to make someone else feel the way you felt. I sure as hell never want to make ANYONE feel the way I have felt for the past month. And unfortunately enough, this is why your actions feel intentionally hurtful. I could never imagine you invalidating a month of dates, sleeping over, going to a concert, and telling each other how grateful we are for each other. I guess it really did mean nothing to you- as you have told all of your friends.

I knew that our love had entirely run dry the moment I looked into your eyes and saw no remorse. The Charlie I had known was gone forever, and the person who had loved me for a year was completely unrecognizable. He had become a total stranger, and in those moments of vulnerability I could not help but wish I had never met you.

Every place is a memory of you. My bed, my shower, my closet where I cried on the floor, songs, the restaurants, my car. My own body is a constant reminder of every inch you have touched and how much of it I gave to you.

My initial reaction in your car that Saturday was because I thought everything would be okay- if you could love me through a year of ups and downs I could love you forever.

I lost my my best friend for a year, someone whom I thought I knew like the back of my hand. I just still cannot wrap my head around the idea that hooking up with the girl made you want to lose me entirely. Maybe it is good you finally made me realize who you really are- or else I would’ve had an inkling in the back of my mind for the rest of my life that you were supposed to be the one.

I will never forget the feeling of walking past her sorority house that Monday and balling my eyes out. Feeling sick to my stomach and not eating for days. Calling my mom on the phone at 3 in the morning in total despair. All I wanted in those moments was to be with the old you- who was gone for good.

I thought, until that Saturday, that you would be in my life forever. I opened the time capsule that was under my bed in October and read your letter. I cried on my floor, knowing that I couldn’t be with you now if I wanted a future together.

There were so many nights in September and October that I would hover my finger over the call button, staring at the phone as tears streamed down my face, wanting to be with you. Resisting the temptation to see you- wanting so badly to have you back. But I knew that at that point of my emotional maturity, I needed to be alone. I couldn’t hurt you again. I knew that if one more bad thing happened between us it would be done forever- and I never thought it would be your doubt in our relationship that brought us so far past any point of return.

I used to think “We’ve been through so much, this must be what love really feels like.” I really did love you. And I know I had trouble voicing that throughout the relationship, but I always meant every word I said. Saying “I love you” was never something I said to reassure my feelings for you- I knew those feelings were true. Saying “I love you” meant I was committed and wholeheartedly put my trust in the palm of your hand.

I thought there was a reason we kept being drawn to each other- some fate that told us we were meant to be together. There was a certain resilience to our love- one that brought us back time and time again.

I’m not sure I will treasure this relationship. What I have done since is grieve the loss of a boy I used to know. A boy whom I loved so simply, so easily, and so strongly. The C+C carved into that tree will never disappear. As will my love for that boy I used to know. But the pain in my heart will also never disappear. This engraving in my heart from a year of loving you aches, bleeds, stings.

I am grateful I met you on December 31, 2020. Now I know what it feels like to be loved- and I am one step closer to finding whom I belong with. I know what behavior cannot be tolerated, and I know what it feels like to truly be heartbroken. I know I should always, always trust my gut.

I was never going to give this letter to you, and I never will. There is no response I could ever get that could piece me back together.

No, I don’t ever want to see you again. Obviously it is unavoidable- but if you are going to act like I stranger I guess I’ll have to do the same. It is not a question of my maturity; I don’t ever want to feel the way I did that Sunday.

I really wish it didn’t have to end this way, I really didn’t. All I wanted was for you to check in, for you to at least be a friend to me. But that is entirely gone now, too.I just hope that one day there will be even an ounce of you that will realize how much you really hurt me. I am excited to start a new life without you in it. Create a person you don’t even know. New friends, new clothes, new perfume, new hobbies, new ambitions. Right now, it’s a distraction. Soon, it’ll just be me. Somebody you will never, ever get to know.

Goodbye for good,

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