I dreamt of you last week. You were in my bed and yet we never touched. I felt another punch to the gut but I put on my happy face. I used to think love was easy and reciprocated but oh how naive I was. I know it’s wrong for oceans of reasons but you’re the only thing that makes me tingle. Makes me tick. I know we’ll never happen for the record. There’s a million circumstances against us: her, the oh so insurmountable age gap, the distance, the fights. And of course the biggest one of all — the unrequited nature of feelings. Also I’m taken and I love him, I swear I do! However, I don’t think I’m in love with him. He’s comfortable, and keeps me all warm and fuzzy but I need the butterflies. I need the thrill. At the end of the day, he’s not you.
I miss us, even though we were just having fun. I miss my moans down the microphone at 3AM. I miss you calling me beautiful and other dangerously devilish names. I miss how my body reacted to you — no one else compares. I miss talking in the daylight, before I became your girl in the a.m. Now we’re friends. Friends who talk in the a.m. until one of us falls asleep. You feel eerily close, my heart speeds up after you hang up. Then I cry. I cry for my heart chipping yet again. I cry because melancholy is addicting. I cry because I hate myself for loving you.
They say best friends make the best lovers and we may not be that close, but I know you. I love your stupidly long rants about films or the environment or wrestlers. I know your favorite foods, your relationships with your brothers, your diet, and everything in-between. And you know me. You let me ramble about the lack of accountability in people for their actions, my racial trauma, and even long ventings of frustration about my crappy father. We talk to each other far more than we talk to anyone else. That much is true. And so, yes, maybe I think we could be pretty great together.
The thing is in my head, my messed up lonely jaded head, there’s two types of women. The girlfriends and the lovers. Men see us girlfriends as the perfect, presentable woman who they can show off to the public. The “classy” ones, the beautiful ones. And then there’s the lovers. Men see them as the sexy little vixens of the a.m. The secret, or the one they brag about to their friends. She’s not worthy of being the former. I’ve always been the lover ever since puberty really hit me and I had that “high school glow-up.” I’ve dealt with dozens of men treating me like my only value is sex appeal. So I’m jaded and don’t expect anything different. In fact, I play into it and try to embrace it because that’s how lonely I am. That’s not okay. Not because I’m “degrading myself” or some other misogynistic BS, but because it’s not healthy for me and I’m doing it for the wrong reasons.
I know you, so I know that we’ll never even be lovers again. That’s the real shame, once they find out how lonely and depressed you are — they never see you the same. They like the adventurous, wild, sexy side of women until they realize oh but she’s human too. The enigma of her very nature is stripped away and with no mystery left, it’s time to walk away. I’m grateful for our friendship, I truly am, but I still want more.
I know you’re working on yourself and I want you to. I want you to find a therapist and work on hating yourself less. I want you to let go of your regrets because you can only move forward. I want you to live every day to the fullest and I want you to smile and laugh. I do hope all your dreams come true. I hope you choose what you want to do and enjoy your work. Don’t just settle because you’re at that age. I also want you to do better. Not because I’m condescending as you and most men so often say (yawn, predictable) but because you need to stop being so jaded and complacent and expand your horizon. Not every opinion is an opinion if there’s a fact to prove otherwise. It’s okay to be wrong and not get oh so defensive every time you ARE wrong. But I don’t hate you because we fight. I’m still here. 8 months later.
You’ve caused me so much heartache with the rejections and the shift in our dynamic over time. I don’t blame you. You don’t feel that way about me and I doubt you ever will. So now I have him. He adores me, he cares about me, and while I still love you, I love him too. Just in a slightly different way. I’m not a lover. I’m a girlfriend with him. But I don’t trust myself to have a good thing. To actually be in a healthy relationship. Parental abandonment and unhealthy marriages will do that to a young and impressionable woman. We’re all a little messed up. The result of traumas we grew up with: but that doesn’t define us. We’re happy… I think. He’s not you. I would love you harder than anyone has ever before. That’s a promise. But I’m forever to be the girl in the a.m.
And so… I will.