"Yeah, I recently had an interview for In-N-Out. You have to tell them what they want to hear. You just have to play them, man."
I should have known then you'd play me as you did them…
But I didn't.
And you did.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I didn't know right away you'd be the sunshine of my life. We had a class together and when I walked you to your next class, you fumbled and hugged me. That's when I knew. I don't know what it was about you, but I knew. I couldn't hold back, and I called my mom to tell her about the guy I just walked and how when he hugged me, I felt chills all over.
"Mom, I think I like him."
I told you from the start.
I had just dealt with an indecisive boy and I told you not to hurt me.
I told you I was pre-med, and I didn't want to play any games.
Mature for my age, I told you I was ready to settle down because I needed some stability in my life.
And you stayed.
Things were great. We'd have lunch together and enjoy our time between classes. We loved being in each other's presence. You'd drive me home and even though when we met you hated taking pictures, you'd always pose for me but then you graduated.
You spent SO much time on your laptop. You neglected me. Then you told me you felt forced to be with me. You said you weren't ready to settle down. I smiled and I told you it was ok. I understood and deep down, I was relieved. I knew I deserved more than your neglect.
But you came back.
And I thought I needed you. The next four months were hard. You tried to visit me at school, but we'd just talk every day. You were going to UCLA and you hated that my family came first. So, I changed that. You became my family and I would lie to my real family to spend more time with you. I would stay on campus under the pretense of my extracurricular activities when you would bring me food or when we'd watch movies in your car or in an empty classroom. You were my precious (we'd watched all the Lord of the Rings movies).
Then you decided I wasn't good enough for you.
You fell for someone else. You hid my photos so she wouldn't know. You say nothing happened, but how could I trust you when you broke up with me for her. I was in too deep and I felt like I wouldn't be good enough for anyone until I was good enough for you and when you came back to me, I took you with open arms, willing to do anything to make you happy.
I'd like to believe you came back to me because you realized I was good for you and you missed me for who I am. But I think it was really because she wouldn't take you after she found out you had a girlfriend.
Still, I took you back and again, you became my priority.
I'd visit you at UCLA even though you never visited me (which is saying a lot because you had a car and I didn't). Granted, I'd visit you when I had events at UCLA, but you never made the effort. I would spend more time with you, higher quality time with you than I would with my family.
But something was off.
You were always high. Or crossed.
You weren't you anymore.
The man I fell in love with had a drive. You stopped going to class, stopped reading ahead of class. But still, I was ok with it because I loved you. You said I never noticed when you were high because we'd have serious conversations with you in that state but that says a lot more about you than it did about me. That became your new normal.
I didn't know who the real you was anymore.
I couldn't walk away. We had our plans set, our future kids' names, our house layout. I didn't want to give up on us.
Then I got accepted to UCLA.
I thought things would get better after this. We'd see each other more often, we'd get to spend our time in between classes together. This was it for us. We took off running. We decided we'd live together. We started looking for apartments and jobs. Until your friend backed out (THANK YOU) and I got a housing offer. You wanted me to give it up and request a single so you can live with me, but it didn't sit well with me. You were pushing so hard for me to request it, but I told you I couldn't because if things didn't work out, I would get stuck with a payment I couldn't afford. Little did I know I'd be right.
You broke up with me right before my first quarter started. We were drunk. After two years, you decided we weren't compatible.
We said we'd be friends, but I had to remove you from Snapchat after I saw a video of another girl on your bed. It wasn't healthy for me.
It's now been eight months without you.
I can say I love myself more than I ever did when I was with you. It's tough sometimes, I'm not going to lie. I want to hear your voice. I want to lay on your chest and hear your heartbeat. I want to feel your arms around me and your lips on my forehead when I'm stressed.
But we don't have that anymore.
I heard you don't live in my building anymore. I heard a story, but only you know the real reason why you're not here. I don't know if I'm relieved or sad. I know for sure I won't see you here anymore. It's bittersweet, really. But I wish you the best.
Good luck in life. Do your best. Do it for whoever your Delilah will be.
I like you and I love you, sunshine.
But I've moved on now and I love myself more than I've ever loved you.