Nhu-Thao – You were my rock, you grounded me when no-one else could, until I drowned in the nightmare of my own creation.
Despite only taking up 9 months of my life, my time with Julie made college feel more like 40 years instead of 4. Yet the crux of my realization that I was worth more than what I could offer her didn’t come from within, it came from you. “You find someone when you least expect it.”, a perfect proverb for how I met you. A stranger from a land on the other end of the globe I met through a mobile phone game. Yet you were not only there for me when I didn’t want to be alone, you were there for everything else too.
I greatly admired you. Your inner-strength was nothing short of captivating. Your willingness to trust in me and your patience whilst I tried to battle my own demons and overcome the pestilence cast upon me by Julie forged a bond between us I thought was nigh unbreakable. I eagerly awaited nightfall when you would wake up so I could text you. I’ll never forget the first time I heard your voice. I paid hundreds of dollars for those precious minutes, and they were worth every dime.
Your unwavering loyalty and trust kindled the same within me, I learned to speak and act not with doubt, but with conviction. I began to look at the past as a series of events to learn from, instead of mistakes to dwell on. If you ever faltered I became your rock, because your time and energy was something I deeply treasured. Because of you I had a reason to wake up through the times I didn’t want to, and drove me to dare dream of the days when I could hear you, see you, and touch you as the first and last thing I did every day.
But I couldn’t fool you.
For months I poured my affection and emotions onto you, trying to convince you that even though I couldn’t be with you physically, that what we had was enough. But you knew this wasn’t the truth, which I now believe is why you were so cautious about what you said to me and how you said it. It lasted only a fleeting moment, but I was unfaithful to you. You recognized the change as quickly as I did, and I respected you too much to hide what I had done from you. Despite you telling me I did nothing wrong, that there was nothing between us I know that wasn’t true. I’m not certain of many things in this world, but what I felt for you at that moment was mutual, I believe this down to the very core of my being.
My confession was to both of you. She asked me to stay and I said no. I knew I deserved neither of you, I told you this much. But she was born out of a selfish craving for physical intimacy that I knew you couldn’t satisfy. I lacked true conviction, and my weakness insulted you. I’m sorry. Despite what I felt I deserved, you stayed. You claimed that nothing was broken between us because there was nothing to break. Perhaps you believed this early on, but I believed you were giving me a second chance and I didn’t want to let you down again.
Yet that’s all I ever did.
As we learned more about each other you became more open to the idea of what a relationship between us could really be, and I strove hard to prove to both of us that you were worth that much. For months I pushed the limits of what I thought I could do to impress you and prove that not only were you someone worth fighting for, but I was someone who was worthy of you. But that was never to be. We shared many great times, and had our fair share of bad times. They were all born from me.
I never confessed to you how hard I was on myself, or how much my betrayal weighed me down. But I think you knew this much already, and you hated that I let it hold me back. That was always the cause wasn’t it? I had changed, I wasn’t fighting for you anymore. Did I stop thinking you were worth it? Why did I keep running from you? Why did I keep hurting you over and over again?
Because I was ashamed. My lack of conviction had become a stone in the very seat of my soul that stood between me and you. Like a foul blemish it taunted me every moment I thought of you. You were still my first and final thoughts every day, but it was telling me I didn’t deserve to hear you, that you would recoil from my gaze, and that I would never touch you. I couldn’t move past it, and every time I failed it only grew, and as it grew I got further and further away and there was nothing you could do to stop it, you could only slow it down. I don’t know how it felt from your end, but every moment I felt this revelation was agony for me.
Attempt after attempt I tried and tried to get past my lack of self-worth, the feeling that you deserved so much more than I could ever offer. I fought so long and so hard for you to think of me as the person that would be your rock, as you were mine, forever. Yet the more you asked, begged me to be just that, the more I crumbled away.
The one thing I hated more than my inability to be what I needed to be for us, was how much I hurt you. Just how much were you willing to hurt to give me a chance to make things right? I couldn’t take it anymore, I was driving myself back into that dark corner I swore I’d never go back to, the one you worked so hard to help me climb out of. I don’t know how long the water was above my head as I clung to you. But I do know what I lost when I finally let go.
“If you love someone, let them go.”. That’s the proverb I chanted to myself in the days building up to when I left you. I built up in my mind that I would never be able to stop hurting you and feared my downward spiral would ultimately end in me hurting you in the worst way possible, so I convinced myself that the only way I could show you how much I love you was to selflessly let you go and find love again.
The moment I let you go, when my hands left my rock; I’ll never forget, and words will never be able to describe what I felt. Because I didn’t feel at all. There is only emptiness around me now. That’s all I have left.