No, this isn't a Taylor Swift moment. I am not going to bash and degrade you. We weren't like Augustus and Hazel from "The Fault in Our Stars" or Noah and Allie from "The Notebook", even if we really wanted to be at times. It's just not practical to dance in a restaurant or a dance floor without music. However, laughing in the chilly Cape Cod ocean and eating crab rangoon late at night is definitely something I will never forget.
Starting out in our relationship, it was nothing short of wholesome. The constant late night text messages and begging our parents to let us see each other on a school night. Achieving a relationship with consent and mutual understanding was my active goal after meeting you. You graciously took me out to places I never imagined would be a date, such as candy stores and picnics on construction sites that we weren't allowed to pass. I will admit, that even throughout the one year together, you never failed to surprise me, good or bad.
As our relationship progressed, naturally so did our arguments. It would start with simple things, like where to eat for dinner. I know it sounds like the typical viral Twitter post, but it genuinely was a gateway argument to something much larger. You became fiercely protective, asking who I was texting and why, and programming a location tracker on my phone so you know where I was at any given moment of time. There was numerous under the cover conversations about how you did it because you loved me. I screamed and cried, asking for you to tone down the precautionary measures. You shut me up with flowers and promises to change. And here is the part where you changed me the most.
When I mumbled that you promised to change, my best friend almost fell out of her chair. She stared at me with wide eyes and said, "If you have to promise to change, then there is no intention to do so." I sat there with my eyes stinging from holding back tears, and I slowly nodded my head. I felt the gears in my head churning and everything began to click. You didn't love me, you loved the idea and label of a girlfriend, and that is what hurt the most.
When I escaped your grip, I still had residue of your hands in my hair. I still had the bruises of your clutch on my heart and I still exhaled your name like a swear when I hit my elbow on a sharp corner. Unfortunately, hand sanitizer only got rid of the dirt in the calluses of my hands and mint gum only got rid of the morning breath I had obtained overnight. But months and months after, I came out barely breathing.
You taught me how to breathe alone, without you. Without anybody in general. You let me become a proactive feminist and this opportunity allowed me to discover the beauty of self-love. I no longer dress for you, but rather for myself. I do my makeup for the selfies I will never post, instead of sending it to you in return for a text that is along the lines of "sexy" or "hot omg." Our breakup taught me to never allow someone to convince you that they love you because if they truly did, you would have felt it a long time ago.
The woman you made me today.