I like to protect my heart from hurt and intense feelings. I don’t know why, but I know writing is my cure. I was looking through old files on my laptop and came across this short explanation of the feelings I had, typed after breaking things off with with the same guy that inspired me to write this. Warning: if you know me, this might be super weird for you to have such a personal, up-close view into my heart. Also, I suppose I have to disclaim that these are not current feelings–but from almost 3 years ago!
I don’t really know how I feel right now. My heart hurts, almost like I’m going to cry. The top of my stomach hurts, too. Like I’m going to be sick. This has to be one of the worst feelings in the world.
He probably feels the same way. His heart probably jumped when he saw me today.
I hate feeling anxious. I was so happy when I drove away today. I really want us to still be friends, and the way I could see he wanted me in his eyes made all the difference.
He said “you look hot.” I didn’t say it back, but his shirt was unbuttoned and hair was teasing me between the collar and I just wanted the comfort of running my fingers over it. When I had to leave, he commented again on how I looked and said “come here.” His tone made me want to run both towards him and out the door. His arms enfolded me into a warm, comfortable and familiar embrace.
As he stroked my hair, he told me how he had missed me that weekend and how little pieces of me left behind had evoked those emotions. He told me how he had dreamed about me and his hand was on my lower back. I couldn’t meet his eyes as I whispered it had been hard, but I didn’t tell him how nights tortured me and waking up was worse.
He sighed into my shoulder once and another time looking at me. I felt numb almost, but a smile never left my lips. He pulled me in for a kiss and I hesitated at first, then he did. I saw a smile on his lips and I dropped my head, letting out a breath. “At least give me a kiss goodbye.” I smiled to oblige and raised my face to his again. My mouth was dry, I was trying not to tremble as we came together. I pulled away with a hand on his chest, looking down. I smiled to hide tears.
His hand hesitated, then left my side as he wished me luck. Without another look, I walked out, up and away with a smile on my face.
Now I stare into the distance. I know what I did and I know it can’t be undone, but how do you let go of love? How do you erase what you felt when in each others arms–secure in a place you shouldn’t be, feeling like none of the fights would matter if you could just stay like that forever. I tell myself that love is never a mistake.
That summer with him was a rush of sixteenth notes, a shoebox of smiles and tenderness, and a cradle of on-screen kisses; how do you keep that and let go of the hurt? What do I want? I don’t want to care so much. I don’t want him to still have a hand on my heart.
It’s not his fault. The more you unwrap your heart, the more he can hold it. Sometimes people throw you away. Sometimes they have dirty hands. That hurts differently, though. We were walking hand in hand–in my other hand was his heart and in his other was mine–we tripped and stumbled together and I don’t know what happened to his heart, but I know mine was scratched and squeezed a little.
His hand-print will fade, but I wish we had been able to make it somehow. I couldn’t take another chance, though. I couldn’t hope it wouldn’t happen again. I don’t have that much faith–pain took what was left. I’m trying to fill the spot he left, but I’m in between. In between him and what’s next. Hollow. One day it’ll be okay. I can’t think of what’s missing when I have so much. If I fake a smile long enough, it will become real as long as you don’t look into my eyes too deeply. I’m going to dance by myself to hopeful music and maybe shed a final tear. This is me starting to let go when I don’t want to.
We got back together and dated another year. Crazy, huh? Now I look back on this with mixed feelings; it makes me sad for my past self, but also makes me proud that I was able to describe my feelings so perfectly.
I guess another reason I posted this is for the girls dating guys they know they shouldn’t be–I get it. I totally, 100% get how you feel. It’s still not worth it. I am so lucky that I’m in a place in my life where I know what I want and I know what I deserve! Figure that out for yourself too, and don’t settle for less:
“It’s very tempting when you really want to be with someone to settle for much, much less—even a vague, pathetic facsimile of less—than you would have ever imagined. Ladies, please, keep your eye on the prize. Remember always what you set out to get, and please don’t settle for less. If you can’t do it for you, do it for everyone else: [Good-for-nothing] guys are able to exist because there are a lot of women out there who allow them to.”
– Greg Behrendt