I remember what it was like when I loved you and you were with someone else.
It was fun, it felt forbidden and sexy.
It was guilt-ridden, uncomfortable and full of self-loathing.
I tried not to call you, ever. I sent messages instead, vague little sentences that you would understand but she wouldn’t, if she ever saw them. I assumed she looked, because if she had half a brain she wouldn’t trust you.
I’d send just a word, sometimes. “Tempestuous.” It was our word that we would work into conversation when we were surrounded by people and couldn’t say what we wanted to. It meant a lot of things — I want you. I miss you. I need you. I love you (although we didn’t say that, back then).
Eventually I was at a party and everyone was drunk except for me. It was an exceptionally lonely feeling. I remember sitting outside on my best friend’s porch while everyone played drinking games in the basement, and I called you.
I shouldn’t have.
It was an uncomfortable phone call, because the minute you picked up I could tell she was there with you — you were too quiet, too reserved — and I knew immediately that I should never have called you. Why did you even pick up?
“Are you okay?”
I remember being so angry when you asked that question. And even though I’d called because I was sad and lonely and I needed you, I bit your head off when you dared to ask me that.
“Would it make any difference if I wasn’t?” And I hung up on you.
Because I wasn’t okay. I was crying and felt like I had no one to talk to. And you, my darling, my last resort…..you were with the girl you committed to, and that wasn’t me. And I couldn’t talk to you about it, and even if I had you would have done exactly nothing to help me, because you weren’t mine.
Was I okay?
Not for one single minute of being with you, my darling. And not for a long time after you left.