I saw the way they all looked at you, and I was no exception. You were the light of every room you walked into, the life of every party. You were handsome and kind, strong but gentle, and I couldn’t take my eyes off you.
Then one day, you looked back at me.
On that day, I completely lost myself in you. I didn’t look at all the girls that glared at me, or the guys who thought you were crazy, I was so completely consumed by you. I saw that smile in your eyes and I couldn’t resist smiling back.
There are memories still engraved in my mind that I replay and I see how immensely happy I was. Standing by your front door, with your arms wrapped around me, memorizing the look of content on your face. I knew every line, every freckle, every flaw, and I loved them all. I remember telling you that I wanted to pause time and live that moment forever, and I sincerely meant it.
It wasn’t long before I forgot to text my friends back or do my homework, I showed up late to work and skipped a family event. I didn’t care as long as I could spend every single moment I possibly could with you.
I made you the highest priority in my life, and in return I lost my way and myself. I put what you wanted ahead of what I needed. I let your emotions dictate mine, and your perspective of me became my own.
I went from a girl who wanted a boy, to a woman who didn’t know how to want at all. You were my entire world and when it came crashing down around me I was terrified and alone. You decided I wasn’t worthy of you or of love and so I decided I wasn’t worthy of it either.
It has taken years for me to rebuild my world from the ground up, to replace the damage you’ve done with the beauty of wonderful friends and family. There are still days that I remember what it was like to be so consumed by love, and there are more days where I remember what it was like to have it ripped away from me. I know what I want now, though.
I know what kind of love is healthy and worth sacrificing for.
I want the kind of love that builds me up, the kind where I learn more about myself at the same time that I learn more about my partner. I want the kind of love where every part of me is found and cherished, not lost. The kind of love that you could never give to me.
Feature Image via Arielraee.