I woke up the morning of Valentine’s Day last year to your message: “I just don’t think I have enough time to talk to anyone right now I’m sorry.”

Yikes.

We’d only hung out once, but I liked you an awful lot. You were respectful of boundaries in a time in which others were not. Your texts had enthusiasm and exclamation points. You gave me compliments that I returned. You made me feel comfortable and safe and attractive.

We could’ve been magic. You were hope I found out of self-destructivity. You were a perfect enigma in between black-and-white lines.

I think about nights you spent up, drunk and throwing up, probably my number, probably my name, probably the two hours we spent together.

You were an algebra problem I could never get on my own. I never liked math anyways, but you were quite literally majoring in it at the college two minutes from my dad’s house, my mother’s town, my childhood home.

I think of therapy sessions with your name, tasting like syrup, sweet yet sticky. I think about how we’re still strangers somehow.

I tried to keep what we had going, but my messages were put out like an unwanted fire.

And I still gave you the benefit of the doubt.

I see pictures shared between you and your apparent girlfriend; I see tweets that must be an epitaph to our relationship, or whatever it was. Every time I spoke or heard your name after that, I could hear the Grim Reaper playing his tune.

Cracking my bones, my skin, my heart: there’s no glue that can fix an earthquake.

But I climbed my way out of self-destructivity and the low sense of worth you gave me every time you wanted to “hang out” while your Twitter still reeked of girlfriends that didn’t have my name. I broke through the asphalt of shock and disappointment and hurt you caused me. I know every lyric to my heartbeat now because I wrote it. I am learning how to be unfazed by the men who do not love me, because now, I have so much beautiful time, all thanks to you.

Thank you. The way you repeatedly texted and then ghosted me showed me I am worth more. The ways you respected me showed me it’s possible to trust a boy and not be shot down. The time you did not give me, I gave to myself -- and I have the most beautiful friends anyone could ask for, positions in clubs, new people and experiences, and an upward shot of self-worth I deserved a long time ago. I am healing.