1.4 Walking Away
“Please don’t cry,” I whisper, unable to look her in the eye, “I never wanted it to happen like this.” She doesn’t believe me. She thinks it was all part of some master plan to break her heart, to crush her, to prove that I’m no different from the rest of the world which has caused her nothing but pain. If only I had known 8 months ago, back when this all started, that I would be sitting here now. I would never have gotten into this in the first place if I could have known how it would end. I swore I would never do this to her; I promised to never hurt her. It turns out my promises were as empty then as my heart is now.
“I’m sorry. I just can’t do this anymore.” I know I’m the bad guy. I always have been. Our entire relationship was made up of my words, my actions, and my mistakes. It was my fault that we got together in the first place, and now it’s my fault that we are breaking up. My heart feels swollen as I avoid her needy gaze, can feel her heart aching for me to change my mind. But my mind is made up: for once I’m going to take a stand, which is something I’ve never been able to do before. I have let her manipulate me, let her use my words against me, let her play the victim while no one can see what has really been going on.
The truth is, she needed me then. Back when she was suicidal, she needed me to talk her down, to care for her, to listen. And I was always there for her, because that’s what friends do. I let her get attached to me, when I should have held her just out of reach. After all that we’ve been through, she knew exactly what broke me. And now I look back and see all the times that she has used it against me. From the outside looking in, it looks like I had power over her because she was the broken soul, and I was the rock that brought her back. If anyone could see us through my eyes, they would see the truth; I’m the real victim in this relationship, and always have been as she controlled everything by managing her breakdowns, just to keep me close. It worked every single time. She abused me emotionally, and then later when we were together, she abused me sexually. I never saw it as abuse until I got away from it all and could really see how unhealthy it all was. Now I’m a different person; I’m someone who finds it hard to feel love and desire because it fills me with guilt and brings back memories of the ways she took advantage of me.
This time, however, it is different. I see her act, I see her game, and I see her for what she is. I can’t love someone who does that to me, and have finally found the strength to stop it. I refuse to be a victim. This is my time to show the power I have found inside myself. A new life is out there waiting for me, and it starts here. “We’re better off this way,” I say as I lift my head, look her directly in the eyes, and hold her gaze. She flinches at my stare, and turns her head away from me. I stand up, pull back my shoulders, and walk away.