She’s never handled that word with too much grace at all.
I think you knew when you left she’d be the one hurt in all this. Nights where she’d lay there looking up at the ceiling missing you. Wanting to talk to you. Losing sleep thinking it was her fault.
Moments where she’d fall to her knees in a desperate cry because all of this pain suddenly hit her all at once. And you weren’t going to be there for her helping her through what you caused in the first place.
It’s not fair that the person who gets hurt the worst is never the one who deserves it.
You were moving on with your life and she was falling the fuck apart watching you move on without her.
Handing her back pieces of her heart you knew she’d struggle to put back together like some puzzle she’d never be able to finish because the last piece she gave to you was missing.
What she didn’t know was it hurt you too. Because you did care you just don’t anymore and you feel guilty because you are to blame.
She had no choice but to move on with her life…
You saw her again only this time she wasn’t alone. Laughing and smiling next to someone you didn’t know. It hit you harder than you thought it would.
Because it was in that moment that girl you thought was weak and needed you proved she didn’t anymore.
She moved on and you just watched carefully someone else take her hand, kiss her on the cheek, so consumed by him she didn’t even notice you.
And that’s when it hit you what you lost. A love you took for granted. A relationship you stopped valuing. You walked away and gave someone else a chance to love her the same way she loved you.
Maybe you were the one who made the mistake. Because what you saw as someone who appeared weak falling apart as you said goodbye is standing tall and looking better than she ever has before. Only unlike you, the guy next to her didn’t have to lose her to realize it.
You took a step closer and you smiled slightly, she turned to him and whispered in his ear and took off for the bar. In your head you began to wonder does she still drink the same thing and what exactly about her has changed?
“How are you?” she says ever so quietly. It was a peaceful look she gave you not like the one when you last left. You realized she’s not mad anymore or hurt.
What you realize is she doesn’t love you like she used to and that’s what hurts the most.
Small talk makes you realize this person that looks and sounds the same really is a stranger.
And she walked away and you watched as she left and that’s when it hit you what you lost. Sometimes it’s only after you lose something and you see them move on do you realize it was supposed to end this way.
Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words
This post first appeared at Thought Catalog