In a notebook, on the last page, the words sprawled across the page read,
"maybe if you write their name enough, it will write them out of existence: your name"
I wanted to believe my own words, to rid my mouth of the taste that the two of yours brought me.
There will always be the folks who only saw your side of everything, accepting that has been almost harder than forgiving you. It's exhausting trying to expose a soul for the light it doesn't bring to the world, begging it to just give in to kindness instead.
More often than not, my questions drain into the universe, trying to understand why our paths crossed, laced with thorns and gasoline, ready for ignition. Nothing has tasted more like poison bleeding on my tongue than the memory of you.
I told my side, you said it was riddled with inaccuracy, and my head shook with the understanding that change was not something you were capable of; people don't soften over night, people don't soften over days or months, they soften when they're present under the blanket of genuine connection.
In the years of understanding, I have been told too often that god, whatever or whoever that may be, gives his toughest warriors the hardest battles. I sank to the depths of responsibility for a life that felt ruined and wasted as I watched you deplete me with each passing hour of everyday. I couldn't fight this one for myself, it was all that I ever could feel or remember when I thought about leaving.
But my reward has been sweet. It has been soft, kind, and luminous. It has been understanding and patient, it has been unconditional. It has been worth the journey, the wait, the misunderstandings, and the burdens. It was worth experiencing you to comprehend what love is supposed to feel, look, breathe, and live like.
For that alone, I release you, your memory, our past. But you will live in infamy on the pages of the book that young girls will read, reminding them to wait for a love that does not hurt them.
- s.b. may this be your final chapter in the lessons I hope you learned