A Letter to the Boy that Broke (E)mpowered Me
Did you know you had me fooled from the very beginning? Of course you did.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of self-acceptance and self-love.
I could say that I hate you and that you hurt me, but in reality, I was only hurting myself by desperately searching for your acceptance over the past six months. I lost sight of who I was, making your interests a priority over mine, dropping everything to see you when you called because the times you wanted to see me were few and far between. I thrived off your attention, letting the idea of you surround my every thought until you were so tangled up in my head my thoughts were no longer my own. I became putty in your hand; you turned me over and over until I flawlessly fit the mould for the perfect girlfriend you had created in your manipulative mind.
But after all this time and all the sacrifices I made, you still haven't asked me to be yours.
You caught my attention shortly after I moved in, the mystery boy next door. I became close with your roommates, unaware that you even existed for the longest time. But then suddenly there you were; sexy, brooding, mysteriously showing up at my house unannounced, hanging out on my porch, and throwing pebbles at my window like we were innocent children with a shameless crush. Did you know I fell in love with you the first time you asked me to stay over? You held me close to your chest, sleepily whispering in my ear, begging me not to leave. Did you know you had me fooled from the very beginning? Of course you did. You played the part of a true gentleman: surprising me with ice-cream, taking me on late night adventures around the city by longboard, and showing me your favourite places because you knew I’d love them. I felt like I was in an indie movie, racing through the streets at 1 AM, wild and carefree. Exploring the corners of each other's minds, our darkest thoughts illuminated by the orange glow of street lamps.
I really thought you felt it, too.
But were you scared once you saw how hard I was falling for you? Or is this the silly game you play, knowing that your charm will be the perfect bait for an innocent girl looking for a ride on the wild side. You presented yourself to be exactly what I wanted, but you didn't need me. Not really.
You started to put space in between you and me, disappearing for hours, ignoring my texts, coming and going for just long enough to make me remember your existence, but reminding me that I could never have you honestly and entirely to myself. You refuse to be chained down.
That was all part of your master plan; to let me get close, but not too close, leaving me to fall victim to the trap you set over and over again.
You had a twisted way of knowing how to please me, deny me, and shame me all in an instant. You tenderly traced the outline of my body like I was fragile, made of glass. I still remember how it felt as you kissed my neck and played with my hair until my head was spinning. The nights that you would ask me to come over were pure bliss, my senses heightened with pleasure. I embraced your icy touch, which somehow made every anxious thought and every shadow of doubt in my mind melt away until there was nothing left but the image of your cold blue eyes ingrained in the back of my head, and your fingertips left on my skin.
You made me lose my mind.
You made me feel dangerous, alive, vulnerable; no one has ever made me feel the way you do. No one has ever made me feel the way you did as I rocked back and forth, tears streaming down my face, convincing myself that I was to blame for your unexpected disappearances, the notion that I wasn't good enough for you, ringing in my ears until my head was spinning too much to do anything but crawl into bed and shut out the world. You made me feel everything, but fear the one thing that I should have so desperately tried to hold onto, empowerment.
I trace the outline of the bite mark on my inner thigh, a reminder that you control me, a reminder that I let you seduce me to the point of allowing you to hurt my body, convincing myself that I liked it because that's what you wanted. I was trapped in erotic fantasy, and I couldn’t get enough—of you, of lust, of pain, of your elusive mind.
Don’t get me wrong; I tried not to let you get into my head. I pushed you away time and time again, but in the end, you would always win because I would come running back in search of your approval.
You made me your puppet.
I cringe at the notion that I thought you were what I needed… It turns out I did need you, but not in the way I had initially thought. I needed you to break me down to nothing me down so I could reinvent myself, to search for empowerment where it retreated into the dark, unforgiving corners of my mind. I drew to the surface the concept that I am worthy, and repeated it over and over in my mind until it became my reality. I am worthy of a love that is far greater than the twisted one you tried to convince me was real.
I try to force myself to forgive you, but I want you to know how it feels.
Weeks go by without us speaking. It’s for the better. I free myself from the self pity and self doubt, and deteriorated the negative energy that surrounded my actions in your presence. I grew into my mind; became headstrong, independent, self-sufficient, motivated. I thought of you less and less every day, until not at all. I became a master of avoidance, planning my schedule so I wouldn't run into you on the bus, see you walking home from class, but I know you could see me. I wanted to make myself irresistible to you. And it worked.
I knew you'd send me a message; one last attempt to keep me on your line. A booty call. Is that all I am to you? You call me a child, throwing tantrums. You scold me for being angry at you, for finally learning how to say no. If I am such a child then why are you so reliant on me to fulfill your emotional and physical desires? Maybe you think I’m weak, that I am unable to stand on my own and will come whenever you call.
I’m stronger now.
I waited for an apology, I waited for you to tell me you missed me and that you wanted me back, or that you ever even wanted me at all. But all I got was silence. Silence for two months. You think I miss you. You think I am the one who is thinking about you and is yearning for a second chance, to slip into your sheets, to feel your arms around me, to listen to your voice in my head telling me I'm unworthy over and over again.
“How does it feel?” you would ask.
I never understood what you meant. The sex? The pain? The lust? The games? Thinking I am something to you that I’m not? Both of our souls intertwined for six months yet never amounting to anything more than a game of tag. I chased after you for six months. Now you get to chase me.
I’m not the same innocent girl that I was before. Two can play the game, but only one heart can win. I was your apprentice, learning your tricks, mastering the method to your madness. You broke me down to nothing by cutting me off time and time again, so that is exactly what I will do. I'll cut you off. I will play the game, pretend that I still want you, but the truth is, I don't. I will mess with your head, coming and going on my terms this time. I'll leave the taste of my skin on your lips but only enough to leave you wanting more. Then, in the blink of an eye, I will disappear.
You can't control me.
I don’t need you.
I certainly don’t need you to need me.
The tension between us will grow and grow until you leave, until you graduate and go off into the world, forgetting about us and our time together. So that’s why I need to forget you first.
Don’t get me wrong; I still want you. But I will forget you.
I can still hear your voice in the back of my mind: "How does it feel?" you ask.
Let me tell you.