It’s been a while. Almost six years. The details had slowly become a blur but the feelings remain like it was only yesterday. When you held my hands and confessed love one week after our first date. Sounds ridiculous now. But oh, how I swooned! The cute guy with a cheeky smile and silence that was constantly inviting. You were almost too good to be true with trouble written all over you.
It was summer. I was home. You called and asked me to marry you. We’d been together less than a year. I was 19 and I wanted to. My parents hated you. That eloping plan sounded perfect for then.
Nobody had cared. People around me too busy wrapped up in their own lives to ever tell me what to do. And when you did, I felt adored. Like someone was finally looking beyond the surface. I should’ve sensed the red light but all I felt was love. Oh how much he must care if he takes the time to tell me what to wear! I should have seen the control freak in you.
One week. That’s how long I spent trying to track you down. Knowing you were in pain didn’t help the fact that you were gone. Phone calls, emails, there’s nothing I wouldn’t have done. Just to know you were okay. Just to hear your voice. I should’ve known you didn’t want to be found.
Layers. Your sisters told me “it wasn’t easy growing up.” I nodded my head and pretended to know what they talked about. It wasn’t until Christmas vacation that I finally understood. You were a different person when I wasn’t right next to you. You had so many sides, I wouldn’t know where to look. I should’ve asked for more. I didn’t know if I could.
The anger. That secret seething rage you hid so well until it was too late. Shoved against a door. Your hand mid-air. I wished I’d done more than listened. Maybe asked. Maybe helped. So I began. Untying the knots that made you sink when you needed to swim.
Suddenly I was weak. For not running. For not leaving. For staying. For loving. The child abandoned and his fear of being left. His anger for letting himself care. His need to keep me by his side and always know where I am so he can sleep with knowledge that I’m not halfway to hell. How could I blame a man that feels like a caged child for actions he wishes he didn’t commit? Someone who helps others with their emotions but has no control over his own? How do I call a man undone an emotional abuser?
I wasn’t old enough to analyse, let alone fix. But I tried. In my way, letting you know – no matter what, I’ll always stay. Even if I’m hurt. If I’m scarred. I’ll sit by your side. But marriage was not a choice. And so I watched you punch a wall. My heart hammered for how red your knuckles turned. But I wouldn’t say yes.
So you did what you feared I would. I’m not ready for this. I can’t be a life partner right now. You hung up the phone and you left.
I tried to keep track but you know how those things go.
Six years later, I saw “you” in a movie. One so many seem to hate. And I know how many layers his emotions have. I know why he feels anger he can’t control. I know why she stayed as stupid as it sounds. And it reminded me of you. I can’t even tell you. So I thought I’d write a blog.
Maybe, in some part of this world, you’ll click on a stranger’s link and find this. When you do, I hope it’ll remind you of us. And if it does, I want you to know – If I had to do it all over again..