I often think about what I’d do if I were to see you walking down one of our shared roads, while I wait for the bus to therapy or while I’m on my way to work.
Some days I’m certain I would scream and cry and maybe even spit in your face. I would beg you to explain to me how you could do this and go on living with yourself, without me. I would ask you if you actually loved me or if you used me solely as an escape.
Other days I’m certain I would shake my head and walk away, without so much as a word to you.
Today I’m certain I would hug you very tightly and tell you that I think you’re pathetic but that I understand and forgive you anyway. I would cry and admit that at least that I’m trying to forgive you. The honourable way. The way that lets us all be free. However the fuck that works.
I would want you to know that you did this in the most. backwards. way. The opposite of what would have been thoughtful and respectful and dignified. I would tell you how much I miss you, every fucking day. How much I don’t want you to come back while also yearning for you to. How full my days are now that I don’t wait on you, but how much fuller I think we’d both be if we had each other. How much care I take of myself even though you aren’t around to police me. How much I wish you were.
I would thank you for encouraging me to get sober and for telling me you’d love me anyway even if I started drinking again. For being gentle. For being honest. For being patient. I would tell you that I am, in fact, sober and that I did quit smoking and that I’m working out. That I would never let you take my new life away from me because it is mine and only mine.
I would then tell you that you humiliated me. You made me feel like this time would be different, that this time we got it right. That the years we spent with the wrong people were for one purpose, because we found each other at the end of them. This is both of our faults; you for asking for me back after I left, and me for believing you meant what you said. I see the red flags now that we’ve been separated for so long. You weren’t who I thought you were. I wasn’t either. You turned out worse, I turned out better. I’d tell you that saying that made my skin crawl. I’d apologize for being cruel.
I would tell you that I scold myself daily for being the stereotype of ‘the other woman’. That I still find myself seeing you in every stranger, every truck, every guest that walks in to the restaurant. I see her and the kids, too, in everyone else.
I would tell you that I’m not attracted to anyone that has expressed interest in me, no matter how sweet, kind, or wonderful they are. I would tell you that I don’t think I can have sex with anybody for a very, very long time and that it infuriates me. I blame you for this.
I would tell you that letting you go is supposed to be freeing but I fucking suck at it. I’m not going to give up trying, though. Clearly this is what you wanted and it is what I’m supposed to do. I would tell you how many people comment on how well I’m doing and how great I look, as if I’m in remission from some terrible disease. I resist the urge to bite their heads off with each word. I would smile comparing you to cancer and then feel guilty for it. I would also admit that I don’t feel as sexy or as confident as I did when you were around and this new insecurity makes me bitter and fragile. I would also express my disdain that my self esteem is wrapped up in someone else. I would yell that I never thought I was that kind of person.
I would want you to know that I am fiercely protective of my sobriety, my heart, my home and my sanity since you left. My life is my own and I refuse to give it up to anyone or anything. Not even you. I would tell you that I’m fucking angry at you for not sticking around to see the person I’m becoming. That you’d rather stay numb and asleep and repeat the same mistake instead of blossoming into the wonderful person I know you are.
I would tell you that I still defend you even though you never once protected or sheltered me from the fallout of the affair. That of course I didn’t need protection but I only wanted you to be beside me through the mess. I would tell you I don’t understand what you’re going through day-to-day, how bad it must be, or how you are managing to justify what’s happened between you, her and I.
I would ask you if you actually wanted (and tried) to leave or if that’s just something you told me to soften the blow of your departure.
I would ask you if your new life is better or worse than the one that had me in it.
I would tell you that I love you, even though it hurts and even though I don’t get to anymore.