ALL TOO WELL
- November 27, 2021
- Denise Lee
One and a half years gone. And I don’t wake up reeling in pain anymore. There are no more tears to cry, they’ve dried up months ago. It’s a strange thing to say but I’m no longer afraid to go to places, to re-explore the safe spaces that felt foreign after you left. You’re just a stranger that came into my life to stay for a fleeting moment. You made me feel the highest highs and then dragged me through the lowest pits of hell. If pain had a name, it would be you.
"You kept me like a secret but I kept you like an oath."
- Taylor Swift (All Too Well)
You did it so well. Pretending like what we had was love. The way you took my soul hostage while playing with my heart. Was it fun? Taking me on this joy ride that left me wrecked. You displayed no guilt and continued to make me feel like I was crazy. For so many months, I wondered if I had been unreasonable. But wanting to see my boyfriend more than once a week was not me being an overly attached girlfriend. You just wanted the benefit of a girl on your beck and call with no strings attached. I didn’t see it then but I do now. You made me believe that I was the cause of our destruction but you stayed friends with your past benefits and made me feel lesser than when I told you how uncomfortable I was. You went on holiday with your ex-girlfriend’s family yet tried your hardest to avoid spending time with mine. All my friends had to make time for your classes because you were always “too busy” to meet up only to be left hanging when it ended since “you had to speak with your riders”. Don’t feign innocence, I know that one of them replaced me merely 2 months after you broke me into tiny fragments on the floor. My friend saw you with her in an upscale hotel room in the city, decked out in your pyjamas at the breakfast buffet. But of course, you couldn’t recognise him. You never made time for people in my life. If I hadn’t removed you from my life, you would have continued to watch me from the sidelines because that was the kind of person you were. Manipulative and narcissistic. Once you no longer wanted me, you tried to discard my existence like an old scarf, yet you wanted me to want you.
I never really talked about it but on my 27th birthday, you made me feel like I was floating on cloud nine yet so unwanted at the same time. You had taken the day off but so reluctantly that you kept reminding me of that fact. I never asked you to. Granted, you remembered that I love Japanese Swiss Rolls and took me to the cooking studio to make one but then ratted out later that day that you got the deal off someone else and it was almost free. You told me that we were going somewhere average for dinner but even though I wanted to wear something nice, you insisted that it was okay to wear shorts only for us to rock up at a nice home dining place leaving me feeling so underdressed and embarrassed. It was always “but” with you. Because I would be elated one moment and absolutely defeated the next. The rollercoaster of emotions was so dizzying I wanted to puke.
You never got me flowers or bought me anything special. I didn’t need you to because I can afford these things for myself. But an occasional surprise would have been nice. You were doing the bare minimum and the only thing I did wrong throughout our one-year relationshit was to let you get away with it. Our fights would circle around the same four walls and there was no end in sight. In the final two months, I could no longer distinguish right from wrong. You made me feel guilty for wanting to make things work, like as though I was holding you in a prison cell against your will. You couldn’t call for the break-up because you refused to be seen as the bad guy. And on the last night I saw you, despite my best efforts, I knew that you were worth less than discarded trash in the landfills. You accused me of stalking you then pretended to have a panic attack and told me 5 minutes later that I was hallucinating. The next thing I knew, you started to pull the strands on your head like a rabid dog. I did not want to end up like the walls you relentlessly punched till your knuckles bruised and bled.
The aftermath was a blur of me crumpling up like a paper doll, eyes swollen from the endless stream of tears and a breathlessness I had never experienced before. You continued to watch me being tormented as you refused to remove yourself from my life. Until I decided one day that I would no longer allow you to have the satisfaction of seeing me soar. You don’t get to witness the beauty that came out of the ashes from a fire you caused.
You used love as a disguise. You never called it what it was.
Nothing about it was love. And you were a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
I don’t hope nor wish for your happiness because your existence is inconsequential to me.
Now you’re just a stranger that I will walk past without a second glance.
You once told me that you were deathly afraid of falling in love with writers because they would paint an inaccurate picture of you online if things end badly. Sorry to break it to you, darling. It was never them, it was you. You must feel special now that I’m immortalising you this way.
And just between us, did the love affair maim you too?
Because I remember it all too well.