Art by Nikki Radan, Manila

How Strange it is to Love Anything At All

By Scarlett Hannon

Everything that breaks when breaking-up


How strange it is to love anything at all. I used to love you. I don’t know if you knew this, but I did. I don’t even know if I knew it. I had never been in love. I didn’t know what it was supposed to feel like, how to navigate it. I didn’t know that it was so beautiful and gut wrenchingly painful at the same time. I had issues, a lot of them. But you did too – I don’t know if you knew that.


When I left I blamed it on myself, on my disposition, on my mental state. I told you I was leaving, I had to go. I needed to go. It was a blur of sound and fury and I felt your heart break. I had already let you go, I had already moved through the decisioning and questioning. I had made my choice. But you never saw it coming. It was hard for me to grasp that you really thought things were okay, that you thought it was going to work. But as they say, love is blind. I was a perfect porcelain statue in your mind, that you had put upon a high shelf and promised to protect and admire. You knew I was fragile, yet hard and strong. You saw a secret part of me. You would never break me. I knew that. Yet I broke you. I didn’t mean to. I loved you. I really did. I don’t know if you ever believed that or ever will, but it is the truth.


I have never really hurt someone the way I hurt you. Your emotions haunted our shared apartment for the next few weeks. It all felt so desperate. You were angry, and confused. You didn’t know how hard it was for me to leave. To accept that I couldn’t make it in our relationship, in a new city. To accept that everything I thought I wanted potentially meant nothing to me anymore. I was going back home with no bigger plan at all.


We fought for a while. I always wanted to be your friend, but you were angry. You said it was too hard. It was selfish of me. I wanted your energy. In many ways I still do. I felt your love, it was forgiving, it was only mine, it was stable and I could trust it. When I felt vulnerable I missed it. When I slept with a guy that made me feel like shit I missed it. I missed the forgiveness, the purity that was your love. I wish that you could still think of me the way that you always did, the way you used too. I want you to keep me on that pedestal. I want you to love me forever, like you said you always would. How selfish and strange can I be. How twisted to ask such a thing and how humbling to realize my own insanity.


I don’t regret my decision. I don’t think we will end up together. But the further you drift out of my life, the more I try to hold on. The more desperate I am to know that you still think about me. That you, who gave me more love that I could have ever hoped for, still have some left for me. There’s a part of me that needs that. It’s really fucked up.


Letting you go was easy because I knew that you weren’t really gone. You were still mine. The sanity within me wants you to move on, knows that you should move on and is happy to watch you grow and be strong. I have always wanted that for you. But that part of me that you filled, sometimes it feels empty and I think about you. I don’t know if we could be friends. I don’t know how this all works, but I am thinking about it a lot more than I have before.


Maybe I am just tired of mediocre sex, meaningless sex, guys, dating. Maybe I feel alone and empty. Maybe I am scared no one is ever going to love me as unconditionally as you did. Maybe I will meet someone who fills that space completely and I will laugh at my old desperation. Maybe I won’t. Maybe one day I will decide I made a mistake. Maybe I won’t. I can’t be sure. My heart is not broken. It is just longing. Longing for someone to make me feel the way you did.


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