“To: The Boy Who Taught Me To Love” Fiction. Based on a True Recovery.

“That’s when she really pulled away and it really triggered me deeply…why does this pattern keep repeating itself over and over again? Why do I keep feeling abandoned? …I found out she was with her ex again, and I was like, why is this happening?”

–Dan Vega

“To: The Boy Who Taught Me To Love”

Fiction. Based on a True Recovery

by Charlotte Thomas

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.

To: The Boy Who Taught Me To Love,

You were never in love. Well, maybe you were. But you weren’t in love with me. You didn’t think about me, you didn’t dream of me, you didn’t end anything else, because of me.

Because you loved her. You loved the girl you were with before. The pretty blonde hair and the bright blue eyes and the sweet smile I knew from my sleepovers and birthday parties. Your gaze was so close to me, you just needed to look to her side, and you’d find me looking back at you. Your blue eyes would melt into mine, and we’d be happy.

I left him because I realized I was staring at you, and not him. You were the one on my mind. You were the one I dreamed of sweeping off your feet and loving, and smiling with, and loving with my whole self. But you dreamed of her. The girl who was everything I wasn’t.

So, I did what any best friend would do. I smiled, and I watched, and I advised, and I kept my feelings inside while you two did everything I dreamed of. You two were happy. I wasn’t going to stand in the way of you two. Because I loved her, and I loved you, and all I wanted was for you to be happy. But, for whatever selfish reason, I wanted to be happy too, and in that time, I couldn’t see that happening without you.

I had watched for several years, my feelings for you never fading. Every time you danced together or held hands was like another twist of the knife, another retching of my heart, another tear down my cheek. It was another night of lying awake in bed, your words echoing in my head, and your texts in my old flip phone illuminating the bedroom.

But, finally, you were alone. After time and time again when I had to see the two of you together, you were over after a couple years. I waited an appropriate amount of time. While she found someone else, ensuring me she was over you, and I wrote out my feelings. I wrote them all down in a letter, being no good with communicating my feelings verbally, especially when they came to you. So, I sealed it tight and handed it to you when I saw you the next morning, and anxiously sat in class while I waited for your response.

I had no idea what to expect. Part of me was hoping that after all this time, you felt the same way. That my silly childhood crush, the real first love I’d ever had, and the boy I had liked for 4 years, would finally return my feelings. But alas, when your friend handed me your reply, my heart shattered all over again. It was as though I saw all those times you spent with her all over again.

It was the harsh reality that came down around me. The realization that my worst fears had been realized and were laid out in a now crumpled letter that wrinkled in my shaking fist, was too much to bear.

And with that letter I gave you, that one fatal mistake, I had pushed you away. You were distant now. You didn’t reply to my texts, you didn’t laugh with me, you didn’t wave at me. Just like that, you were gone. All at once, with the reply you gave me, our relationship had changed for the worst.

A consequence that lasts even now. I think back and long to change what I had done. A part of me wishes I had never handed you that letter. That I had kept it for myself to look back on from time to time, never to be seen by anyone, much less the recipient.

But another part of me is glad. Glad I got some form of closure in that sector of my heart. Although I know now that you were never going to be my soulmate. We were never going to be what I had imagined, and that’s okay. I let you know you were loved, and that was enough. When I told you, I allowed myself to let go of you, and grow, and move on. We weren’t meant to be, and that’s okay. I’m okay with that. And since I have accepted that, and learned from what happened between us, I know that we can move on, and maybe get back the friendship we’d lost. And we’ll be each be fine, whether that be together, or apart.

You let me grow, and I am grateful to who you were to me, and who you are now. You now live in my memory as the boy who taught me to love, even if you never loved me in return. You taught me to live with that, and how to cope through my first heartbreaks, and how to believe that I would be okay. You taught me how to be me, and that’s all I could ever ask of you.

You will always be an important part of my life. And I thank you for letting me let you go.

From: The Girl Who Knows She Can Love

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