This is How I Disappear

It’s crazy in this lifetime how often your initial gut feeling about someone can be right. For example, I could have predicted back in April as I was sitting in a bar talking to you that I would be writing this about you now.

From the moment you stole my phone that night and told me to stop drunkenly texting another guy I was after and talk to you instead, I knew you were going to be the one to really break my heart. I could have told you right then and there how this was going to go: I’d let you pursue me, I’d start to like you back, I’d start to have real feelings for you, and when it started to show that I cared, that I was invested, you would disappear.

At first I did everything to resist you. When you started trying to talk to me on Facebook and I gave you seemingly vague responses? I was trying not to encourage anything on purpose because I knew if I started talking to you I would fall for you. But I don’t think it was a secret to anyone that I asked our mutual friends about you all the time. I’d be a dirty liar if I said I didn’t ask them to invite you to go places with us. Just so I could see you again.

And when we did finally see each other again at the beginning of the summer I was surprised by how sweet and genuinely nervous you were around me. I liked that I made you nervous. It meant that you were as into me as I was into you. I was relieved when you stole my number from our friends and started texting me. I was excited when you asked me to go to your friend’s wedding as your date. We hardly knew anything about each other then, but for some reason I trusted you.

You were easy to trust because you were easy to talk to. And you were easy to talk to because you were so honest about everything. I liked that we talked about what was happening between us, because it really wasn’t a secret. I liked that I never had to second guess if you liked me or not. I just knew. And you knew.

You have no idea how much I appreciated you doing things just to make me happy. Like taking me to a movie for our first date that you definitely didn’t want to see. Or cleaning my shoes off when they got muddy. Or letting me put drinks on your tab at the bar when I lost a dice game and had to buy everyone shots. And that time you just decided to drop everything and come visit me on the 4th of July. I wish I could tell you now how much that meant to me and how much fun I had doing all of those things with you. It’s the little things that girls remember.

Of course, you and I are two very different people. We knew that from the beginning, too. And the fact that we don’t live in the same city made seeing each other difficult. There were times when I just wished I could call you on a Tuesday night to come over and watch TV with me. I know we would have been officially dating if it wasn’t for the long distance. But I was willing to fight the distance to be with you. To me, it was just an obstacle that we would need to overcome together; not a deal breaker.

Even though our differences and distance caused problems at times, you always impressed me with how you handled our arguments. Like the time you made us late to go camping with our friends and I yelled at you in your truck. I felt horrible afterwards. You should have seen your face. You looked so sad, like you had disappointed me. I apologized several times and all you said was, “It’s OK. It’s water under the bridge now. We’re fine.” Or that time my cousin was mean to you at the fair. You calmly told me that you were upset but not to worry. It didn’t change anything between you and me. Moments like that made me fall for you. Hard.

You didn’t even think about giving up on me then. Which is why it hurts so bad now. I trusted you so much and when you suddenly stopped answering my texts and ignoring my calls I was confused. I thought you were such a for sure thing. I thought you had me. I wanted you to have me. But then I saw you changed your profile picture on Facebook at 3 a.m. to a picture that wasn’t of us anymore. You couldn’t even send me a simple text saying you were giving up. Instead of confronting our relationship, you just forced me out. It’s so unlike you, too. Especially since you promised me that you wouldn’t waste my time. That you wanted a relationship just like I did. I think at one point you even said your dad told you not to let me get away.

But I get it. I’m not an idiot. Message received, loud and clear.

And because I’m not an idiot, I know why you’re choosing now to bolt. But I have to tell you, it’s not a good enough reason. I know you think I’m too good for you. That you can’t handle the distance. That you can’t live up to my expectations. That you’ll never fit in with my friends and family. I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that that is not true. I never for a second thought you were beneath me. And I never wanted to try and change you. Because I liked you for exactly who you are.

But there are things that I’m sorry for, too. I’m a mature adult so I can admit when I’m wrong. I hope you don’t think that I was trying to force you to be something you weren’t or didn’t feel comfortable with. I wanted you to meet my family because I wanted them to see how great you are. I was genuinely excited to show you off to them. I know that scared you and I feel bad now for not letting you take it slower. But I thought that’s what people do when they care about each other; they do things just for the sake of the other person. I was scared at first to hang out with you and your friends. You knew very well that my life before you did not consist of watching a bunch of dudes work under the hood of a car for hours. But after a while I didn’t mind it. Because I got to see you happy.

I know that our lives have had different challenges. You’ve been self-made since you were 18. Even though you didn’t tell me everything that happened to you in the past, I kind of filled in the blanks. You haven’t had the easiest life. And on paper it looks strange next to my resume. But that stuff didn’t matter to me. Not even for a second. You have no idea how much respect I have for you because of it.

I know you’re scared that you’ll let me down. That you don’t deserve a girl like me. I know that’s why you’re running away. But the fact that you abandoned me now, means you’re fulfilling your own prophecy.

I want you to know that you are good. You are such a good human, and I know you’ll read this and roll your eyes, but it’s true. You have so much going for you. You’re loyal to your friends. You have your own house that you take care of every day. You care about your job. And quite honestly, I thought, up until the whole ignoring me thing, you knew how to take care of the girl you liked. If it seemed like I was ever clingy or demanding of your attention, it was only because I wanted to spend time with that guy. Being with you made me happy. You made me happy.

It’s funny, the other day a friend asked me how you were. She asked it like it was a totally natural thing. I guess people were starting to think of us as a unit. I was starting to think of us as a unit. I didn’t know what to say to her. I just lied and told her you were fine, by the way. I didn’t want to get into the whole, “I have no idea how he is because he disappeared” thing. I’m also not ready to be mad at you yet. I know as soon as I tell my friends the whole story they will instantly be there with support and plenty of “he’s a jerk” antidotes. But I don’t want them to call you names. I don’t want them to make you into a villain. I hate even having to consider the thought that you played me. That you used me. Because right now, I just want to remember you as the guy who thought I was special. I thought you were special too, you know. I thought we were special.

I’ll miss everything about you. The way your hands are always dirty with something. The way you say my name. The way you laugh. Your stupid tattoos. Your good morning texts. Our random phone conversations. The way you kiss. Your adorable dog.

And the worst part about all of this is that I don’t think you’ll miss me in the same way I’ll miss you. You’ll be off hanging with friends and living your life, without the burden of trying to figure out how I fit in it. But I’ll be trying to get over you, because I never got answers. I’ll be wondering if you know, if you ever knew, just how much I wanted you to be mine.

Getting over you will be one of the hardest things I’ll ever have to do because I’ll know that you stopped fighting for me. I was ready to put up a fight for you. In fact, I think I still would be willing to. But you gave up without one word.

I keep hoping that you’ll call. You’ll apologize and declare that you’ve come to your senses and want to be with me. The guy I thought I knew would have called to at least tell me why he stopped fighting. Why he doesn’t want me anymore.

I know I deserve better. I know I shouldn’t have to cry myself to sleep every night over you. So, I will disappear like you want me to. I can’t change your mind. I’ll gather up the pieces of my broken heart and go. But I hope you read this. I hope you read this so you know how much you meant to me. I wish you would have given me one more chance to tell you that.

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