if I could do it over
ph: Sophie Lilla
I think the reason I can’t handle this is because I have so many regrets. If I could go back and do things over, I would change everything. From the start, I would tell you how much you meant to me. Fuck ‘clingyness’. I would be honest. I’d tell you about how much I liked your hair and your funny, awkward little laugh and your silver-capped teeth and your wrinkly hands and the way you’d look at me so seriously, through your lashes, and make my stomach flip flop.
What else would I redo? I’d tell you why I was sad. Why I was hurting. Why I was scared. I’d tell you about my dad. I’d tell you about how sometimes I just wanted to be alone and listen to music. I’d tell you about how terrified I was of conformity, of drinking, of being weak and vulnerable.
Then, when I was done telling you all that, I’d kiss you and you’d kiss me back. And I’d ask you to take care of me. “Take care of me, okay?” I’d say, and you’d say yes and kiss me again and I’d feel safe.
If I could do it over, I’d realized how much you appreciated me. How you truly cared about me, not just FOR me, but ABOUT me. You cared what I had to say. You cared if I was sad or a little lost. You cared about all my weird little quirks that other guys might pretend not to notice.
I think I scared you a lot. By nature, I’m unpredictable. I change everyday. You wanted to be secure, you wanted me to tell you all those things that I never did, because deep down you knew it wasn’t the same for me. Sometimes I’d be all over you, kissing your face, telling you stories, laughing at your jokes. But in a heartbeat I’d be different. I’d be introverted, reserved. I’d look at you for long moments like I was lost. Like I didn’t know how I got there. The truth is, I didn’t know.
You were a hundred percent certain I was exactly what you wanted. I wasn’t like anyone else you’d ever known. I was beautiful in a way that only chaos can be beautiful. I wished every day that I could be as certain as you were.
All those things I regret? All those things I wish I’d said? At the time, I wanted to tell you. I wanted to say everything.
But I was scared, so scared. I was scared that you might think I was clingy if I told you that you made me happy. I was scared that you might think I wanted attention if I talked about my dad. I was scared to look vulnerable and immature and naïve if I told you my morals.
I wish that I hadn’t been so afraid. I wish I’d trusted you.
I didn’t know then just how much you cared about me. You never would have hurt me; you aren’t capable of that. I know that now. I know that you treated me so tenderly that I didn’t deserve you.
I’m so sorry for everything.
I’m glad we had each other. I’m glad you learned to love someone. I’m glad we were happy, even if only for a few weeks. I’m glad that you trusted me and respected me.
I can’t settle for anything less now. And that’s scary, and sad, but it’s okay because one day I know that someone else will come along who will care just as much as you did. Maybe he won’t come around for years, but he’ll be here. And with him, I’ll be certain. I’ll be as sure as you were with me. He’ll change my life like I changed yours, he’ll make me see everything differently and I won’t be afraid to make mistakes with him. And then he’ll break my heart like I broke yours, and you can laugh at me if you want, I deserve it.
Thank you. I’d say that I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. I won’t apologize for a single second we spent together. All those regrets I have, all those mistakes I made, they won’t happen the next time around.
You taught me not to be scared.