It's a Saturday over two years after my “final goodbye.” It wasn't, not really — there were three more, because the only word you understand less than “love” is “goodbye”.
I look down at my feet, in a pair of well-worn heels, contemplating how much everything has changed.
I'm not the miserable girl you tricked me into thinking was happy. I'm happy, for real this time. I listen to what I want to. I spend time with who I want to. I wear what I want to, and I don't just do it out of spite like I did for a few weeks after the first goodbye. One of those items is heels.
And there are new people in my life, people I have healthy relationships with. They know me, and they care about me, including a wonderful girl I’ve been dating for over half a year. They've come up with creative names for you — the most fitting one being “Dear John Guy”.
The Stephen I gave my heart to on that fire escape in seventh grade — the Stephen who helped me overcome my anxiety, who cared about me and used my flaws to help our friendship grow — that Stephen isn’t you anymore. No, that name's too happy. You are John — your first name, the one you shed because you didn’t want to share a first name with your father.
“Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with? The girl in the dress cried the whole way home”. Every word of that song applies to what I went through. Except I was seventeen, not nineteen, during the worst of what you put me through, which makes it even worse.
I got out, but I have the scars to show for it. So, thanks for that. There are many words I’ve had for you — friend, crush, teammate, 2016 Lonergan Award recipient, abuser who whacked me on the arm during a Mock Trial meet so hard that it formed a bruise… But now? Now, I haven’t heard from you for four months, but it’s like an eternity, because you mean nothing to me now.
And me? I was the girl who would either make or break you, and I broke you. I threw you into a tailspin of having no one you could rely on. Now you “joke” about setting fire to a room in our school, detailing how someone should get the matches and you'll get the gasoline. Sure, you expanded your social circle and found new people to worship you, but they’ll never put up with you without fear or hatred like I did before you turned on me. I was your “better half”, and I’m complete without you, but you're incomplete without me. And if what you told me is true, your entire life is blurring in front of your eyes now I'm not here.
How does that feel for a change?