The Path

“You were red, and you liked me because I was blue.
But you touched me, and suddenly I was a lilac sky…
And you decided purple just wasn’t for you.”

“Colors” by Halsey

I’ve never been to Antarctica or even Vermont in the winter, but I suspect you could give both places a run for their money with the coldness in your eyes towards me now.

When we first met, I was unsure of you. I told myself it would be a one-time adventure. I would let my hair down the way I never did in high school or college. Wild and free, I sauntered towards you, uncaring of your high opinion of me.

But I wasn’t built for a prolonged cold and apathetic approach towards people. Embers of admiration soon escaped from me when we touched. The brighter my heart burned for you, the dimmer yours became for me.

I never planned on falling, but it happened quickly. You poured your heart out to me in ways not even the man I married ever could. Your pain became my pain as I listened. I ached for you and for what you’d lost. I began rooting for your dreams and success. In a surprising moment of vulnerability, I cried to you, and you laid beside me, your face inches from mine, and you told me it was okay. I began to care for you.

But you didn’t care for me.

Perhaps you’re used to the experience we had. You’ve had it with some, and you’ll have it with more. Maybe you can discard people like they are pieces of notebook paper with scribbles of your secrets, dreams and pain etched across in light-handed pencil. But I can’t. I let very few people into my heart, and they are written in by permanent ink on thick elegant card stock.

So when you tore out the pages of our story that didn’t fit with the ending you wanted, it hurt. It hurt so much more than I expected, and it still hurts now. I thought I had found someone who understood me and my pain. We had both spent years of our young lives with the wrong people. Shame on me for thinking we had gotten it right together.

I’ve been through heartache before you, and I’ll probably experience it after you too. But this time feels immensely different than the rest. It feels like you gave up on a special connection without truly exploring what could have been something beautiful.

I would have supported and fought for you. I could have been a brightness in your life. I would have done anything to make sure you achieved your goals and made your dreams come true. My own happiness would have come second to yours.

And for that, I thank you for breaking my heart. Because I can’t sacrifice any more of my youth on another man’s ambitions. It’s time I focused on my own path to success.

The path I would have taken with you would not have ended well for me.

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