and I knew it —
but I still tried
to push you away.”
You were my lifeline, and I knew it — but I still tried to push you away. It was a test, in a sense — one meant for both of us. I wasn’t perfect, nor would I ever be, but I wanted you to be happy. And you couldn’t have that with me.
I locked away my pain, and, at the same time, I wanted you to think I was done with us. But you stayed. Even as I saw the pain in your eyes, you still wanted me to say the words out loud.
“Tell me to leave — no,” you began, “tell me why, and I’ll go. But if you want me to stay, I’ll stay. I’ll always stay.”
I wasn’t sure how to respond to those words, but I couldn’t force myself to do it. Maybe I was selfish. Maybe I was too weak to do it. In the end, I said that I wanted you to stay, no matter how weak such a confession made me feel.
But the best part? You lived up to your promise. Fifteen years later, you’re still here, giving me the same affirmations. I don’t know where I would be if I lied and forced you to leave. Would I have survived? Would you be happier?
I’m the lucky one.
© Sarah Doughty
(If you haven’t already, read part one here.)