I have this issue. That I keep my heart closed, my ribcage slammed so far shut. That I try to push people away as soon as they start to mean something to me. And maybe that’s because I don’t want them to get too close or maybe it’s because I’m just worried that I will open up to them and they will just walk away. That I will spill my guts, expose my secrets, share my life plans for them to just walk away with part of me with them. Leaving me to wonder why it hurts so much at 2am with a “them-sized” hole inside of me gone.
So maybe that’s why I’m so irritable. That’s why I silently hope they will cancel plans and take too long to answer to me. Because that would make it easier for me to want to push them away. That’s why people label me as confusing, complicated, as sending mixed signals. Because maybe it does seem like I’m trying to play games. Because one second I’m laughing and seem so interested and the next I am going MIA for the next three days. But I promise I’m not playing games, I’m just trying to protect myself. I’m trying to stop myself from falling so hard for you that I whack my head on the pavement and spill out all of my emotions.
I’m not trying to hurt you. I’m just trying to protect myself.
Of course there are exceptions to this. Because I can’t seem to say no to you. And I get lost in your eyes so easily. And love is some sort of addictive poison. That even when my brain is screaming “do you want to get hurt again?” my heart still leads the way to you.
I have two sides of me. The common sense. And the rom-com fantasy. The latter always seems to win.
Because at the end of the day I’m always going to be a risk taker. Because “maybe it will work out this time” and “maybe he does love me”. I’m a daredevil in the game of love. Cheating and sneaking extra turns that just leave me right back at the beginning again. I’m going round in circles.
But then I find a boy. One that isn’t as toxic as the one I’m still in love with. So I think “wow I could really win with this one”. So I convince myself I can handle this one. That I can let myself fall for him like I am still falling for the other boy. My first love. I tell myself pretty little lies that make pretend moving on seem like a good idea.
And for a while it’s working. And he’s nice. And he makes me laugh. And I feel like I made the right choice. And I’m not thinking about my first love at all. I promise. And I deserve to be happy with this nice boy. And I’m drowning in flirtatious conversations. And texts at twelve at night and nine in the morning. With the belief that I could eventually fall for him fuelling me to keep replying. But at the end of the day I’m just leading him on. But still! Maybe we will make a life together.
But then I realise. And the missed calls and cancelled plans with my first love affect me more than anything this new boy could ever do. And the paragraphs of love and flirtation from new boy don’t even compare to the “hey” I just got from first love.
The pain of realising I don’t love the nice boy as much as I wish I did is slow at first. Like a mosquito bite I barely even notice. But it happens when I have to tell the new boy that I don’t feel the same and I see how much I hurt him. And when I scroll through first love’s instagram to see a new girl plastered all over it. And he doesn’t text me back either. And when I sit up at night and don’t have someone to text at twelve at night anymore; new boy or first love.
Then the itch sets in, annoying and persistent, causing constant questions. Why did I do that to him? He didn’t deserve to get caught up in my pretending to move on. Why did I let it get like that? What the fuck is wrong with me?
And finally the realisation sets in that I did that to that boy. I broke his heart just like my first love constantly breaks mine. So of course, the guilt sets in.
But I can’t help how I am acting. Because every single time I let somebody in, they screw me over. That’s how I always end up back in the same place. A place of heartbreak I pretend I’m fine alone in, that I’m good, that I don’t need anyone.
I’m sorry new boy, for pushing you away. For breaking your heart. For messing you around. I realise now that I’m as bad as everyone else. But I didn’t mean to. I just wasn’t ready to move on from him yet.
And really. There’s nothing I can do about that.