An open letter from your greatest sacrifice.
When those words leave your lips, they taste sour; I'm your greatest sacrifice. Now I'm not the coffee date you missed because you had to study, or the trip you didn't take because of work. I'm not the B- you received on an exam in exchange for consoling a grieving friend. Unfortunately I'm much more than that, my dear. However I disclose: I am not bitter towards you, I only wish you the best.
You sacrificed five minutes.
Those five minutes that you got lost in, mid-tangent, in some wild conversation; your hands a whirlwind of expressions, which result in making you late to class; that was me. No matter how utterly ridiculous, blatantly scientific, or completely irrelevant you sounded, I listened; mesmerized, it was you and you only captivating my focal point. I was paralyzed in our conversation; I didn’t care about its content. If it was important to you, it was important to me. That day, and I must admit there were many others, you sacrificed five minutes. You’ll be late dozens of times, but I won’t be the reason anymore. This time, you sacrificed me.
You sacrificed feeling vulnerable.
With time, we became transparent. You tailored this impeccable stone exterior with a charming smile, and everybody fell for it; hook, line, and sinker, but I was there when the curtain fell and the lights dimmed. I opened you up, and despite my own stone exterior, you did the same; but I never really had a choice when it came to you. I learned what burns you up inside: the fights with your brother, the lack of support from your father, the constant need to keep your mother proud of you, and to what degree it ignites. I spent time with bandaged hands, trying to quench those flames inside of you. I learned what cuts you deep, how it stays embedded, leaving you wounded. I tried to soothe you, piecing back together all your charred debris. I treasured each piece no matter how many times I got burned. Love-- back then I know you sacrificed feeling vulnerable, but this time, you sacrificed the only person who’d do anything to protect you.
You sacrificed us… you sacrificed me.
Polaroids and the memories we developed in hand, I stood around the fire and took a deep breath; every fiber of my being begged me to hold on, telling me you were different, what we had was incredible, and that it could work out. But it wouldn’t… because you had already made the choice that we…that I wasn’t worth it. The calls before bed, the good morning kisses, the walks before sunset, the jokes, the hours we spent together, none of that meant anything to you. Nothing did, the world could implode in front of you and none of it would matter… just as long as you got your degree. You made the choices, you made the sacrifices, and I just hope that you made the right ones. I hope that degree lends you her ear to vent to and rubs your back when you fall ill. I hope she surprises you at work with your favorite coffee just the way you like it. I hope she watches all your favorite shows with you, and listens to you tell my favorite story a thousand times. I hope she loves you with all of her heart and then some, like I did. Flames begrudgingly devoured the Polaroids as I tossed them in, along with all of the sacrifices I had made, and would have made for us. I just pray for your sake, that you made the right ones.