You Covered the World Grey

Last night was intense. You were different. You had a black eye and you’ve lost so much weight. The way you cried was strange. It was inhibited and unnatural. You acted like everything had to be hidden. You were hidden.

And I know you weren’t crying because you missed me or you wanted me back. You were crying because you finally want this, too. You’ve decided to let go and change is scary. You said this break-up is going to be a time of growth for us both and I knew you were right.

Everything you said had this urgency about it, like this might be the last time we speak.  You said I always felt like water to you, like I was slipping through your hands. You were emotionally detached from your words as you spoke and they became this messy flow of contradicting thoughts. You’re tired of caring, you said, and you’re ready to be done. You don’t want a friendship or any relationship with me. You even started telling me about some new girl you’ve been seeing.  The sex, you told me, is different with her. I didn’t imagine it would be the same. You were deliberate and cold and you didn’t care how you were making me feel.  As much as you loved me, you wanted to hurt me. I wished they canceled each other out.

I felt exhausted and hurt the entire time you were here. I was disappointed in you. Betrayed.  You left me no room to respond. You made it clear that you’re moving on. I hated you last night, but I didn’t want you to leave. I get it. You’ve given up, and somehow, I never thought you would. I thought one of us would always resist this. How can we both give up at the same time?

Where does this leave us?  We’re not friends, but I know everything about you. I know your quirks and flaws and how you spend all your free time. Now suddenly, we’re not allowed to see each other or talk. We’re supposed to act like strangers and forget.  How do you unlearn someone you know so well?  Maybe one day we will be strangers, if that’s even possible.

Once you left, I realized why you had come over in the first place. It’s the same reason I sometimes drive the long way home, so that I pass by your apartment.  And it’s why I write you letters with no intention of sending them.  You were sad, and you didn’t know where else to go. I’ve been feeling that way, too. You’ve suddenly become inaccessible to me and I don’t know what to do with myself.  I’m still trying to get used to a world where you don’t exist. I still care about you and love you, but I wish I didn’t.

I sat there for a while, staring at my bed where you had been sitting. I thought back to high school, when we started dating. We were so young. I wasn’t gay but I knew I loved you.  It didn’t make sense and it didn’t have to, at least not to me. There were countless fights and unsuccessful explanations with my sister and parents. I hated trying to describe myself with labels because I never felt like they fit. I fought with everyone to be with you. I struggled with myself a lot, too. I was scared of other people and how it made me look.  It all seemed hopeless at the time.

Before we dated, I saw the world the way our parents teach it to us. It was clear. It was good or bad, black or white. Everything seemed to fit into a certain place and have a name.   Then you came and shook everything up. You covered the world grey.

We’ve changed a lot over the past four years.  In retrospect, we could have handled things better back then. We were dramatic with our secrets and the running away. We lied a lot to be together and it all felt justified in the name of love.   I think we held on so tightly to each other because we felt like we had earned it.  We worked so hard to be together, that we forgot we had the option to give up.

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