journal · letter · prose

Second Best

If you are here to tell me that someone is out there who will love me with more passion than I could ever want or need, save yourself the energy and breath. I’ve heard it all before. After all, you are not the first act in this farce of a show that has been my life. It should be touching that you mean so well, but every word is tainted by your letdown. And this really is the last disappointment, my friend. I’m so sick of being twisted by romance that I don’t even want it anymore. To be quite frank, it’s probably a load of crap anyway. If there is someone for everyone, why do so many die alone and lonely? Did they just miss their chance? Or is it some kind of cosmic running joke to keep “soulmates” apart? You don’t have enough evidence to make me want to even reconsider it as a possibility, especially with my past providing so much proof to the contrary. You yourself now have a solid shelf, a quiet space, among the other files. Another love lost. Another time I wasn’t enough or good enough. Second fiddle to the main act. Well, I’m over all the bullshit love has cost me. And I don’t need or want the hopeful story that you’re partially trying to deliver to make yourself feel better.  Hey, I do appreciate the sentiment. I’m not trying to be rude or ungrateful. But it would be better spent on her. So I will stand silently aside as your thoughts of me dwindle into occasional wisps and all the memories I slaved to build become faded abstractions dusted over by time. Will you forget to remember my love fondly? It was unusually quiet, but enduring and selfless. To see myself erased and redrawn into another anybody, commonplace, friend, feels like a violation of each fervent feeling and intimate moment. I can forgive the transgression; there is almost nothing I could not forgive you, especially if it contributes to your present or future happiness. But darling, please, spare me the guilt ridden sympathy. It can never make up for the loss of your sweet affections and tender graces. No, I do not believe that the trusting bond we share is broken, but it has been violently altered by your revelations. There is no way for us to remain the same. Oh, I will act unphased because it is necessary, but I have not escaped this entirely unscathed. I have loved you as I had loved no one else: softly, deeply. As steadily as the methodical beating of your heart, the gentle rise and fall of your chest, during slumber. And none of your well wishes or words of contrition can rid me of the aching silence, the absolute absence, that this has left within me. So, onward now, my love… be happy. And forget. I’ll carry the story. And let this final disappointment settle inside my soul: always second best.

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