You’re stubborn, but you fold when pushed to do so. You’re a fighter, but sometimes your hands shake after fighting for too long. You won’t say how much you’ve hurt but your responses to praise on your strength say enough. You work hard, but fall soft so that no one hears it. You say “It’s alright” only to prove that it actually wasn’t days later after you’ve turned in your sleep for too many nights, and are now forcing yourself to say something.
You never told me this. But I stayed around long enough to have a bird’s eye view. And as I watched the male version of me stunt his growth before my very eyes, I loved it. Not out of the enjoyment of watching the rise, fall and fetal position of another person, but because I knew my love could fix that.
My love had strength. It had confidence. It had the shield for when your insecurities settled on you like dust. It was the tissue for the tears you hadn’t cried yet but might have need to one day. My love was what you needed. And because you weren’t strong enough to ask for it, I gave it to you. Because I knew that’s what you wanted. You wanted to be loved, and I wanted to be loved. So I decided to love you with the hope that you would return the favor.
How silly of me to serve you in order for you to serve me, without even asking if that’s what you desired.
I took time that I had previously allocated to other things and gave it to you. When I didn’t even have the time, I made it for you. Others couldn’t need me at the same time as you; I would always choose you first. I couldn’t need me, if you needed me; I would always choose you first. I mastered this idea of me giving enough to you, in order for you to give it all back.
What I failed to take into account was that in me giving you all of these invisible blessings, you weren’t obligated to give me a single thing back. I was doing all of this out of hope for a return investment. You never said you wanted my services. My aid. My affection. All of this I gave for free, without your permission. And you took it, of course. It was GOOD. But you never offered to feed me back. It wasn’t that you couldn’t give me anything; you just chose not to. And it wasn’t that I couldn’t have not only realized, but retracted my wrong doing; I just chose not to.
It hurts to know that I did this because I wanted you to love me. It hurts even more because all of this could be prevented if I simply loved myself. But I loved you, because I saw me in you. And since I had been avoiding my own mirror for fear of what I would see, loving the version of you that I saw was easier than actually loving me.
You took what I gave you. You used it to the best of your ability. You smiled at my gestures and provided me with small affirmations that made me feel as if I was doing the right thing. And in a way, I was. I was providing you with the support and encouragement to love somebody. And you ended up loving somebody. But somehow, after all of that, the person just wasn’t me.
I didn’t cry about it. I haven’t cried about it. I told myself the first time that I wouldn’t cry over boys whose name I wouldn’t remember in a few years. But I still remember your name and how much I wanted you to remember mine. And it’s still worth the tears I refuse to give it.
I still haven’t found out exactly what to do when you love and it doesn’t return in the way that you thought it would. I also haven’t found what to do when you decide to love yourself and yet it still hurts just as bad. One day, I am going to be somebody. Maybe not your somebody… or yours… or yours. But, I will be somebody’s Somebody. A person that they love. A person that they love back. And then, I’ll realize it was never going to be you. My love didn’t have your name on it, no matter how much I wanted your signature…