Dear Ire, Why Did You Leave Me With Half The Story?

love letter to my ex

Dear Ire,

Remember that wedding in July, the one where Seyi got married to Wande? Maybe it’s crazy but that moment’s forever etched in my mind. Maybe it’s because it’s the first one I’ve ever been deeply involved in – I was one of his groomsmen. Maybe it’s because of what I saw that day when the couple took their vows.

I was seated in front with the other guys when this happened. It was really beautiful watching Seyi and Wande take those vows but I wasn’t really looking at them. I saw you instead, in that resplendent white gown, looking into my eyes with nothing else but pure affection in your eyes as I vowed to love, hold, cherish and protect you for the rest of my life.

I saw our wedding that day.

So what happened? Just two more years down the line and we’re in pieces – with the shards set to cause more damage at any attempt to put them back together again – like two people in a Humpty Dumpty relationship. I was a fool and you were just plain silly at times.

You wanted me to talk more. I do talk, but I’d carved a cave where I stuck my innermost feelings, passions, fears and hopes into. That’s the part of me that you wanted to see the most and you did try. I’ll give you that; you badgered, pleaded and coaxed me to let it out. I’d almost get to that point where I finally let you in but then you tune off and disappear and the hurt of finding you at that crucial point and not meeting you waiting where you said you would made me recede even further.

So I would express myself the best way I could, by imagining how things should be – just as I imagined myself making those vows. We’d have a lot of conversations, half of them in my head but they’d seem so real that I would wonder why you still didn’t get me. To me, you should know why I’m the way I am. Why I act the way I do. Why I only keep real conversations at the simplest, most mundane level. I thought I told you so you should know. But you didn’t know; you couldn’t have known because half of what I told you about how I am was all stuck in my head.

I should have been gentler with you, more patient. I shouldn’t have treated you like you should automatically get me – like some sort of robot that I act like. You’re human, I am too but it beats me why I don’t act like one. Why I’m rarely excited or enthusiastic about anything. Like I’d been here before and seen it all so I’m bored with the world and the people in it. But I’m interested…sometimes; I just don’t know why my emotions on the inside don’t translate to my expressions on the outside…sometimes. You almost get me to the point where these two become one but you’d give up right at the most crucial moment and I’d fall back.

You would reach for me before I fall and then I would reach out to grasp your nothing. No hands, no straws. So I got used to falling, deeper into my shell.

I could blame you for this but if there’s anything I’m grateful for, it’s a keen sense of perspective. Should I say you were lazy, not so committed or just playing games with me? Maybe. But I’m a difficult person to love as well. I’ve got no problems loving, I like imagining being loved but the thought of it happening in reality, seeing pure love radiate through someone to me scares the living shit out of me. It’s not self-loathing, I just wonder why anyone would go through the trouble. If I’d be nice to myself I’ll just say that I’m not meant to be loved. But I’m not so nice to myself either.

So when you told me you cheated, it broke me because this was the second time and while it was easy to blame you for the first time, this time I wasn’t so sure. I fell apart like the contents of a toppled hourglass but as hard as it was for me, I was hopeful. I felt that the fault was meant to be a shared burden. Maybe it was at this nadir that we could have finally gotten everything back on track. 

This was why I wanted to know what the problem was. Was it me? Was I not as attentive, caring or passionate as you would have liked? I probably wasn’t. Was it my inability to be really there for you because we were almost always in different states? Maybe the blame was mine this time around. Still, I felt that the solution was in the knowing. To you, the weight and shame of the initial confession was more than what you could bear so you didn’t want to talk about it. Still I wanted to know, for my sake and sanity. For our sakes.

You shouldn’t have told me about it if you were going to leave me with half the story. Maybe we’d still be together if I didn’t know at all. Ignorance, they say, can be bliss.

And this has always been my problem. You’ll give a little taste and I’d always want more of what you’re reluctant to offer. You still expected me to chase even when it was obvious you (and I) were going nowhere. I on the other hand expected you to keep up with me. Whatever it was, I don’t know.  In the end, we’d run off in different directions without realising the chasm we were creating would be too wide to bridge. And now that we’re done running, we’re too spent to find our way back together.

I’m not a bad person, you know this. But I’m kind of messed up so my actions or inactions can end up hurting people – I don’t agree but they say I do. I wonder how leaving someone because it’s for the best is bad. But then again, it’s normal for people to read different meanings to my intentions or motivations for leaving people alone. I think people are confused: they want to be with you and they want to be alone as well. It’s funny. 

I think people always leave, it’s just a matter of time and manner. I wondered why you didn’t move on even after all the storms we’d been through but it’s not that hard to figure out. Love can be a funny thing because I also say to myself that I’m done with you every time this happens but when I see your face, all I want to do is to just enjoy a shared moment with you and make it last as much as possible.

People always leave and I let them. Why you stuck around even as I also stuck around is something I may never understand because we were so messed up. Even now, I still don’t love you any less and sometimes, I even think I’m undeserving of you. But then, it was never okay knowing just half the story – that’s torture. Completing it was my way back to you and as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t jump that far. I had to retrace everything, bit by bit and the tip of the iceberg that you gave me wasn’t enough. In fact, that was what sunk our Titanic. 

This was why I did what I’d never done before.

This was why I left.

“I don’t wanna hurt forever

I don’t wanna keep on feeling

I just wanna say what we both know

I’m letting you let go…”

Letting You Let Go – Paper Route

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