I’m sorry. I have always been sorry. To be honest, I probably always will be–at least a little.
Your first love is supposed to be some whirlwind romance. You fall in love too fast, you break your heart with him and maybe he puts it back together. Then you realize that maybe you were too young to know what love really is. But that love–whether it fell apart, stayed strong, or went against the expectations of the people who didn’t believe in you–was real.
We didn’t have that. We crashed and burned before our relationship could even blossom into something real. I was lost and broken and confused, not believing that a boy could like me. I didn’t like me, so how could anyone else? I wondered how you could see anything appealing about me through the towering walls I put up. I mean, you spotted me on the bleachers at my brother’s baseball game when I was in the worst of moods, ready to cry for whatever reason. Maybe “bitchface” is not my worst enemy…
But skip forward through my first kiss ever and you not wanting to sit with me at the next game because my dad was sitting nearby. I smile at these memories. Funny how you were scared of my dad at the time when he wouldn’t hurt a fly. When Gracie does nothing but joke with him–calling him “Hef” (because his name is Hugh), for crying out loud. Maybe you were a little scared too. Safer with your buddies than me and my sisters. But fast-forward all of that to when I pushed all my friends away, and you along with them. They were dictating all my moves, and I didn’t like it. I was sick all those months (fighting the nastiest sinus infection I hope I never have again) and I couldn’t deal with it. I didn’t have power over my body, all I wanted was power over my emotions. Thanks to depression, I couldn’t even have that.
I should have told you. I wanted to so badly. You were the first one to see me for what I saw myself as. Maybe you were the one who could pull me out of that dark place. But I wouldn’t let you. I couldn’t face the fact that I thought you would hate me for it. It’s why I’ve never told people about me, especially guys who like me. I eventually push them away just like I did to you. Our break up was the epitome of “it’s not you, it’s me” because I was the problem. You did nothing wrong. You were sweet and kind, and I didn’t deserve that. You still probably thought it was because I didn’t like you anymore. It was far from true, but it was better you thought that. Easier for you to forget me and easier for me to sink into the Darkness I found solace and comfort in. At the time, I believed that to be good thing.
I am sorry that we dropped out of each other’s lives, though it was probably for the best. I could forget about you and me and move on. Try to recover, even. You didn’t have to think about me, and I hope you didn’t lose any sleep over me. I hope you never do.
Spending that time at the lake with you got me thinking about all this. About how I have this apology in my head. I wonder if you thought about the same sort of things I did, or if seeing me brought up a weirdly bitter aftertaste in your mouth. But I am glad that we did nothing but laugh together. I was happy to see you so carefree about the world. I was glad you teased me about not drinking (or rather you poked the bear to get me to confess–still nothing to confess!) and threatened to tip me in my donut float over in the lake, rather than ignoring each other the whole time. I am happy you are happy. You deserve to be.
Love always, A