I had a dream last night. Maybe a nightmare. You were there.
We were together in bed, but you were cold and distant. You slept with your back to me. You pulled away, and never looked into my eyes. You used to look deep into them, questioning, wanting to know me, to know who I was. Being so close to you, but feeling so far away, was excruciating. I can feel that tightness in my chest even now, hours after the dream. I just wanted to feel connected and close to you again. At one point, you left to take a phone call. Probably from the new me, the next girl in line. It felt secretive- your phone vibrated, and you quickly threw on your shorts and walked out of the house, not looking back.
I woke up with tears in my eyes, clenched fists, tightened muscles, and a heavy heart.
We met years ago, casually, through a mutual friend. You had a girlfriend at the time, and neither of us thought much of the other because we didn’t know enough to even be intrigued. Over the years we were friendly in passing, but never said much more than the usual niceties. This past summer we reconnected, or really, just connected for the first time. Our mutual friend had invited a few of us out for some beers and bullshitting. Sitting across the bar table from you, I realized the eye contact we were making wasn’t accidental, and that it felt more than just friendly. We ended up exchanging numbers later that night, and promising to be in touch to hang out again soon.
On our first date, you said your last relationship just didn’t work out, and that you can’t force things to work. You told me she was more into you than you were into her. And the girl before that? She broke your heart. We talked at length about relationships and communication. You told me you’d been hurt before- we both had. You made me believe you were different, that I could trust you with my feelings. You told me you had never felt so comfortable with someone right away. You said there was nothing you didn’t like about me, and that you wouldn’t pursue anyone else. We grinned and laughed and flirted and held hands. We talked about how taking it slow would make it all the more worth it in the end.
And you smiled when you kissed me.
(Sigh. That still gets me.)
I got pretty (too?) drunk on our third night together. I used to be quite the social drinker, but lately I’ve become quite a lightweight. That night I was excited to be with you, but anxious- feeling in some way that our separate lives were colliding for the first time. That night your band played a show, and it was our first time spending time together around a few of our friends. My excitement and nervousness led to ordering another beer, and another, and so on. I realized later that I’d forgotten to eat dinner that night too- I guess that’s normal when you like someone. Food is the last thing on your mind when you’re “in like”. Some parts of that night are vivid in my mind, and some are not.
I could have done or said some ridiculous things that night that made you feel differently about me.
Did I throw myself at you- was I too easy? I can’t imagine this would change things so drastically, but who knows?
Did I get emotional- did I cry? That would’ve been awkward, but shit happens.
Did I tell you I wanted you as my boyfriend? The truth is, I did. But I was also willing to take things slow, just like we talked about.
Fuck, did I tell you I loved you? I don’t. I didn’t. I’ll admit I was completely “in like” with you, but if I said I loved you, I didn’t mean it.
What made you change your mind about me?
I’ll probably never know. Because you never told me. It’s hard for me to understand how one drunken night could change everything that came before that. Even if I made a fool of myself, couldn’t you just give a girl a break and blame it on the beer? I wasn’t just imagining the connection we made, the chemistry we had. I wish you’d look back on our (short, yes- but amazing) time together. I just wish you’d remember something:
I’m still that same girl.
The girl you said you couldn’t wait to see again, the girl whose face you took gently in your hands and told her she was sexy, the girl you said you felt so comfortable around.
The morning after the show, you were sweet. Maybe a bit distant, but I told myself you were just tired and needed to decompress after a busy week. You told me you had a great time and you were glad I was able to come to your show. We kissed and laughed and joked around. Hours later, after you dropped me off, I knew something had changed. I could just feel it. I texted you a few times and things just felt so different. Eventually, you just stopped texting me. This was in contrast to the sweet, flirty, frequent conversation we’d had in the previous few weeks. The change was black and white, night and day.
After a few days of your non-existent or stoic messages, I pushed for an explanation. You finally responded, and you weren’t very kind. It wasn’t only what you said, but how you said it. I still remember every word of that text because it was so harsh compared to your sweet, funny, laid back nature. I could recite it right now- it’s imprinted on my brain. Reading that message, I felt like you were trying to make me feel crazy, like I was the only one who had any interest in pursuing something together.
You said we must be looking for different things, and that we were moving too fast. You just cut me off. Without any real explanation, whatever we had or were going to have was over. I didn’t get a say in any of it. You never let us become what we could have been. I truly believe a little honesty and communication could have saved us from being in this situation. But here we are. Let’s be friends, you said. And I agreed because I didn’t imagine we could go from being on the verge of dating, to you never initiating a conversation with me again.
Listen, I know you’re a good guy at heart. I never doubted that. But you’re not acting like one. I don’t care what feelings you have toward or against me. (Well I DO care, but I’m making a point.) I guess I expected more from you. Maybe this is your current “thing”. Maybe since you got your heart broken, you just feel out those awesome, exciting, early stages of relationships with nice girls who fall for your sweet, funny nature. You make them feel unique and desired, and then when they assume things will progress, you walk away. You get freaked by the idea of committing, and by the possibility of getting hurt again. You make your way through nice girls with no intention of moving forward. Maybe you’ve already moved on to the next girl.
But me? I’m going over every conversation, every date, every text message, every kiss in my mind. And wondering how all that somehow led us here.
image credit Alex Bruda
The author of this submission has chosen to be anonymous.