I’ve thought about writing to you often since we parted, probably since we left it so… undone. Your last phone call caught me off guard. I didn’t expect to hear from you again, and I couldn’t bear to see you again.
When you left, when you packed up and moved out of state, I didn’t know what you expected me to do. Did you think I would wait until you decided what to do with your life, and what part I played in it? You made your choice to leave, and I made mine to let you go. When you came back, it didn’t change anything.
Our break-up came only a few months after telling me you had cheated on me. Told me like I should be grateful for your honesty, grateful that you didn’t lie to me about it. You were so cavalier, telling me over a bowl of popcorn and an old movie on TV, tucking it in-between commercials and another beer.
It was just one more way you ignored my feelings. Even ‘ignore’ is the wrong word. You were completely oblivious to what your words and actions meant to me. What they really said about how insignificant I was to you. How you took for granted that I would always be there, always take what you gave and be satisfied with what little thought you put into our relationship.
Even our first time together was an afterthought. It didn’t matter that I was left in tears. I imagined that it would be so much more, that I would feel loved and cherished, not just a warm body for you to use. I should have left then, but I thought maybe it would get better. That it signified some kind of serious commitment to each other… it didn’t.
I’m actually surprised that I am still so pissed off after so many years. I’ve had an amazing life. I have the most incredible family. Something I doubt I would have had with you. Deep down I knew that if we had married, I’d be another statistic. It would have never lasted.
I didn’t trust you, and I knew that I would never be accepted by your family. Your dad was wonderful. He even shed a few tears when I stopped by your house to pick up the last of my things.
Your mother… gawd! That woman hated me. HATED. ME. She probably told you she saw me a few years after we broke up. Made a point of telling me how well you were doing – “not that I would care,” her words. Mister and I were engaged by then, happy and excited about our future. I held no animosity toward you. I truly hoped you were happy too.
She had so much control over your life. That wouldn’t have changed if we married. If anything, I knew it would get worse. You refused to cut that cord, and she kept yanking it tighter. The thought of her being grandmother to our children was terrifying. We would have never been allowed to live our lives without her interference. She was definitely another major factor in our break-up.
I do wonder sometimes what happened to you. What sort of life you’ve had. Did you marry? Do you have your own children? Are you happy? And, I wonder if you ever think of me… if you’re sorry for how you treated me, or hurt I didn’t take you back. Then I look at my kids, or smile at my husband, and wonder why I care.
I gave Michael this prompt: (Character name)’s contribution to the holiday cookie exchange shocked all of us.