I Didn't Burn The Bridge, I Just Lit The Match
*Originally published on Thought Catalog.
I knew that day that there would be no going back from what I had done. I was faced with two options: continue pretending that everything was fine for the rest of the short time that we had together or to finally accept the truth. I chose the truth. I chose to finally open my eyes to the lie that I had been living for all of those months. I chose to break my own heart because I knew you would never have told me the truth on your own. I chose the truth and because of that, you did not choose me.
I had our entire relationship planned out in my head. We always knew that we had an expiration date on what we had because life had chosen for us to cross paths for only a little while. I had always hoped that we would have a happy ending. I dreamed of finally having a relationship end in peace instead of in flames. Maybe I lit the match that ended us, but all you did was sit back and watch it burn.
I don’t know what I expected when I confronted you. I don’t know why I thought someone who was so good at hiding so much would suddenly just be bursting at the seams with truth. I think I hoped that what we had meant more to you than it seemed in that moment. I think I hoped that you would somehow be able to explain how it was all just a misunderstanding or a mistake. I would have been okay with it being reduced to just a mistake. But you didn’t do that. No, you reduced everything that had transpired between us over a year’s time into something “fun.” There I was, spilling my soul to a stranger who only saw me as nothing more than a good time.
How could two people have such different views on a shared experience? I did not think it was possible for a person to grow so distant so quickly, but I guess I should have expected it from you. You had always been so good at surprises.
Maybe I ended everything between us long before I even realized. Maybe the day I let you leave me and chose not to tell you how I really felt was actually the beginning of the end. You made it clear to me that I should have told you sooner how I was really feeling about us. This made it clear to me that I had been the only one believing in what we had. Your words and your actions before you left no longer matched up with what was spilling from your lips. You left your heart in the hands of someone else, while I just sat there, hoping that you would still come back for me.
I did what I could to try to get your attention, but I could never do enough. I finally understood that I would never be enough to get you to stay. The day I realized you would never truly be mine was probably one of the best days of your life. You wouldn’t have to worry about finding your out because I uncovered the truth on my own. I opened Pandora’s box, and there was nothing either of us could do to stop it.
You made me look like the one in the wrong. You made me feel guilty for finding out the truth, even though there never should have been that truth for me to find in the first place. I understand that what we had was nothing more than an almost, but I think I deserved to know what I was almost getting into. I think I deserved to know that I was not the only one with an attachment to you. I know I deserved an explanation and an apology and so much more than how you left me. I don’t know why I thought I could repair what we had when there was never even anything there in the first place. I don’t know why I assumed we would always stay friends, as if we could forget any of the nights we shared together as so much more than that. I don’t know why I thought you would do anything to try and keep me, to salvage the little that we had left, when all you ever wanted to do was run.
I knew what I was doing could never be undone, but still, I did it anyway. I sought the truth, and I got it. It’s two years later, and some days, I’m still not sure if I ever truly needed to know.
I didn’t burn the bridge between us, I just lit the match to try to illuminate our wrongs. I never wanted this to burn all the way through, but I lit match, and you did nothing to stop it.