I’m sure I shouldn’t be calling you that anymore. Breaking someone’s heart negates the privilege for the use of sweet nicknames, but I called you that more often than I called you by your name. Your name feels foreign to me, like I’m not supposed to say it. No one can know the Doctor’s name…Spoilers, I know it, but I’m afraid saying it will allow the memories I have so carefully tied with a bow in the recesses of my mind, blissfully receding more and more by the day, will come leaking through like the bottom of my old dishwasher. I’m so sorry, Sweetie; I’m so sorry I had to break your heart.
You always had this unadulterated passion for me. Sometimes it came off as harsh, sometimes so loving it shook me, and sometimes it was exactly as it should have been. Lying down next to me, smiling with your whole face, touching my cheek lightly with your large hands so as not to wake me from my light slumber, saying softly, “I love you, Baby.” Spoilers…I was awake, and I am so glad. That’s the memory of us I hold in my head, not you telling me you wish you had never served me at that bar, seen my smile at you, asked for my phone number; you told me you hope I hurt forever. And so it is the memory of your crooked smiling dimpled face that I stowed away to revisit like old birthday cards and photos from high school; they all have their place, and so do you. I wish I had not had to file you with those past things, but I think I did it a long time ago. Sweetie, I think I fell out of love a long time ago.
I never had the passion you had for me. I tried I really did; I tried with everything I am. 5 months, 5 pounds, 5 buckets filled with nights I don’t know why I spent crying. That’s something I never told you; I really cried all the time, and I almost never knew why. Sure, we had our discrepancies and our disagreements and our disruptions in the happiness we had created; those were the obvious roots of my upset. However, there were times I would get into my car to drive myself home on the deserted roads of the nighttime, filled only with cold and wind and police sirens, that I would spend in blinding salty tears until I walked through my door. Those nights, Sweetie, I worried about myself, and one should never know why they’re worrying about themselves.
Looking back now, I think I had realized I didn’t want the house in Somerville or the cats or the constant fear of upsetting you for the rest of my life. I realized I didn’t want to force you to have children; I knew you never really liked the idea of another tiny person being dependent on you, and you being dependent on them to let you live your own life. It was you calling it your own life that worried me; I wanted it to be “our life,” “our family’s life,” and that should be automatic. When I realized you had a life planned for us that I was neither ready for nor did I really agree on the vision, I started to go home crying silently to myself. When I realized, Sweetie, that you had an inherent passion for me, I realized that’s something I don’t think I ever had.
All the things I screamed at you in anger, all those little things that bothered me, you keep asking me why I didn’t talk with you about them before leaving you. I would have endured every one of those little things until the day I died if I loved you the way you loved me. But Sweetie, and please forgive me, I did not love you the way you loved me; I’m not sure I ever did. The neglecting me, the harsh way you spoke to me, the inherent lack of trust, the distance you created with my family, all of it would have made so little difference if I had the fire in my belly for you that you had for me. That is precisely why I will never tell you that it really is your fault I broke it off. You would try to fix it with paying more attention to me, trying to trust me, and trying feebly to become part of my family, and “fixing” those things wouldn’t have repaired anything at all. You can’t fix a car’s engine when the car is only a movie prop. I’m not sure that’s something you will ever be able to comprehend, because I tried to spare you that terrible fact: I never loved you in the fashion that you did and the way you needed me to. I told you I fell out of love, I’m not sure I ever really fell in like I should have.
You told me yesterday when we exchanged the things we never thought we would have to give back that I needed to start sticking up for myself, fighting for me, and fighting for the people I love. What you didn’t realize was that breaking your heart was the first thing in a long time I have done to fight for myself. Staying in a relationship without that real sickening, better half, blossoming, heartbreaking and all the same healing type of love is staying in a relationship for that other person who has that real sickening, better half, blossoming, heartbreaking and all the same healing type of love. I would have been staying to keep you happy, and truth be told, I would have done almost anything to keep you happy. I knew how much you loved me, and that is exactly why breaking your fragile heart was nearly more than I could bear. Though I may not have been in love with you, I grew to care for you so much it physically pained me to see you hurting. You keep saying I have been cruel and cold and condescending, but it’s a defense mechanism you see. I won’t pretend I’m not lonely, and because you’re the last one to hold me at night when I was cold or scared, I know my tendency to drift back will only succeed in hurting us both so much more. I promise you, it will be easier to cut myself off from you completely, and when we do speak, for me to show that awful and selfish and cruel side of myself that I only let out for very special occasions. It too is a defense mechanism, but this time for you. Speaking from personal experience, though hatred is exhausting after awhile, it’s easier to bear than heartbreak. Please forgive me, Sweetie, for this was all for the betterment of us both.
“We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one.” – Ninth Doctor (?-2006, “Doctor Who”)