He cheated on me twice. The first time he did, I decided to walk the higher path to forgiveness, be the greater being. I was barely sixteen, and perpetually in love with the idea of being in love. So I did. I forgave him, gave him room for redemption.
Until one day I chanced upon his promiscuity again.
What befell me was not hurt, nor anger. It was self-loathe. Self-loathe that hit me in recurring cycles. Loathed myself for not having been able to keep him intrigued in me. Played every redundant memory in my head over and over again. Desperate attempts made to see where I went wrong. A young girl of sixteen too busy finding faults in herself to realize the fault wasn’t hers.
I never cried. My days were composed of drowning myself in work. And sleep. Of leaving myself no opportunity to think about him or what was left of us. I shut myself in my own dark prison lest I chance upon him somehow. Poignant reminders remained cloistered in the obscure corners of my mind. Survival became the bare minimum and my will to live my life took a backseat, lest I be ravaged by my past somehow.
One day, as if like an impetuous ray of sunshine after the rain, my will to live dawned on me. I realized I didn’t want to be unhappy anymore. Didn’t want to look myself in the mirror to see my shirt stained with wine, ashtray brimming with the ashes that my joy had turned into. I didn’t want to inflict myself with pain anymore, building impenetrable walls and seeking solace in my bruises.
I wanted to live.
And as if in sudden divine intervention, I found myself bestowed with all the strength I could muster within me, all in the span of a single moment. I realized I was ready to spring back in full force.
And so I did. What followed was a chain reaction of epiphanies. A transformation. A sea change of beliefs and principles, an unforeseen advent of wisdom and courage.
That you do not need a ‘better half’ to validate your worth. That there is more to life than chasing love. That it’s important to love oneself with fervency and unwavering faith. That walls can be nice too, that filtering people through them is a necessity. Not everyone deserves to explore the nook and crannies of your soul, not everyone deserves access to the secret road map through the trail of your scars. Not everyone deserves to trace their fingers through your body and derive their selfish pleasure from the electricity of your touch, with no returns.
I don’t know who you are.
But if you love someone,
and he says you are a mess,
he doesn’t want to clean up,
pick yourself up
piece by piece,
day by day,
and keep yourself together,
because you are worth your love
and he is not.