It’s our anniversary. Celebrating two years together and I should be ecstatic. Wait, no that’s not the word. Maybe surprised? No that doesn’t sound good. Maybe the word is happy.
Suddenly, that word seems to weigh a thousand pounds. Aren’t I suppose to be happy? Was this what feeling happy felt like? Was I feeling happy at all? These thoughts swam around in my head as we go through dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant. Here I am, picking at my favorite meal as if the utter thought of eating it filled me with distaste. I look across me and there he is. Eating his food without hesitation and talking about work. I should be listening. It’s completely rude not to listen but fuck it. When was the last time that he listened to me? Like actually listen and not just nod his head. He’s always busy. I’m a full time student, working part time, and take care of my family. Don’t tell me about busy. He loves you. You love him right?
After two and a half years together, I should still love him. Right?
When I was suppose to be enjoying my anniversary, I was arguing with myself about love. I often found myself doing more and more of that lately. Months later, there I was. Standing beside my boyfriend with that infinity ring on my left hand. I’m smiling and holding conversations as if I was happy to be there. Truth was, I wasn’t. I didn’t want to be at yet another Christmas party with people I didn’t know. I didn’t want to suffer through boredom as my boyfriend played games with his friends. I didn’t want to live this lie anymore. I wanted to leave but I just didn’t know how. So yet again, I sucked it up and continued on.
New Years Eve came along as well as his birthday. You bet I was eating at another family dinner in honor to celebrate his birthday. We went to his house and I watched him play video games online instead of watching the ball drop. Then I went home. Nobody told me that you could be lonely even with somebody. That night, I felt more alone than ever.
Shortly after that night, I got lost in my thoughts. I had previously contemplated on breaking up with him. But yet, I hesitated. My heart was going to be hurt no matter what move I made. Yes, I loved him and had for awhile. But I also wanted more. More from him than he would ever give me and that was obvious. I wanted to spread my wings and fly somewhere new while he wanted to stay put in that crappy old town. Was it selfish of me to want more? He gave me love, his virginity, and a future. Was this it? Three years of being together suddenly ending? We were high school sweethearts. We graduated together, became best friends, and lovers.
Was it time to say goodbye?
Well I answered that question by leaving him outside by the steps of his house. He held items that he had given me throughout our time together. I will never forget that night because his reaction surprised me. He said okay to me, accepted the items, and asked for a hug. I refused the hug and quickly walked to my car. Not because I’m heartless but because the tears would run down my cheeks. I knew that this was it for us and it hurt. It hurt like fucking hell.
That night I will never forget. That night I made the most important decision ever in my life. I chose myself over him. I chose the growth and potential that I saw in myself. I chose the fire that was heating up inside and ready to erupt into greatness. I chose the unpredictable future that laid ahead of me. I chose my education to expand beyond the barriers of that small town. I simply chose myself.
I didn’t realize that over the course of our relationship that I had grown. I had grown into the person I once was but better. I was determined to rise against all odds and prove that I was worthy. Worthy of a better life than I would have gotten in that town. I didn’t want to settle. I wanted to take that risk of finding that amazing love that I read about. Was it naive? Maybe. But there was always an if and that was enough to haunt me. So to answer the question, “How do you walk away from someone you love”? Easy, By choosing yourself.