I’ve been thinking about you.

I remember the last time we talked. I was hurt and afraid. I couldn’t keep this going any longer. The longer we were together, I hurt you and you hurt me. The hurt was outweighing the happiness.

How can I say I love you or care about you when I am making us suffer? How can I leave when I watch you crumble?

I’m damned if I leave you, and I’m damned if I don’t.

So I left.

But before I did, I stayed, maybe a bit too long.

I stayed trying to build up the courage to embrace the hurt. I stayed until I was sure that things couldn’t work out. By that time, you knew. You held your breath in my silences. You forgave me when I got irritated. You stayed with me when you felt us start to crumble.

How many pregnant pauses can a person live through before the child is born? You felt too many. You weren’t sure if the breakup was really forming, but it did.

The way you held the image of me. You longed for me with everything in you, wishing for happiness.

I saw you. I saw how precious and pure your desire for us was. Maybe it wasn’t for us. Maybe you didn’t want to be alone. Maybe I was the closest thing you knew to happiness. But I was giving you something that I couldn’t provide any longer.

As I told you how and why I couldn’t do this to either of us anymore, I felt how non-reciprocated it was. I know you didn’t see it then, but I couldn’t give you affection, which you need and deserve.

I’ve thought about calling you a lot. I want to tell you that I’m sorry for every ounce of pain I caused you. I wish I could make the pain go away. I wish I could have made decisions that didn’t damage you. I won’t say I couldn’t. I won’t grant myself that much of a break. I just didn’t. Maybe I didn’t know how to. Maybe I was too much of a coward.

Everyone makes mistakes in life, but the ones that alter people can’t be brushed off.

I know how a breakup and the frustrations in a relationship have hurt me. I know that they have the ability to affect future relationships. I hate that they have done that to me. I hate that I have done that to you.

But I can’t call you.

I can’t tell you how much agony I have felt about what I have done to you. It’s not my right. I left and it’s not my right to waltz back when I want.

If you’re wondering how I could be so shitty, I wonder it too. I had to do it for myself. If I could change the past, I would. We were going to get hurt regardless. I just wish I could have made it less painful for you.

To all my ex’s, to all my past lovers, I wish all the best for you. Thank you for the goodness you brought to me. The bad made me stronger, or maybe it will one day if it stops hurting. I hope you’ve gotten stronger too. If it means anything, I’m sorry. I hope you have someone, romantic or not that helped you through that pain when I couldn’t.