He’s like a papercut on the palm of my hand. A pain I strive to keep to myself anymore, a pain that I assumed would be an inconvenient sting, not a wound that eternally rips itself open.
He’s the wound that won’t ever heal completely, and I’m the foolish girl who keeps taking the bandage off too soon.
I can breathe through the regret of him, even laugh when he pokes fun at me for it. I am finally better able to let things roll off that previously would have reduced me to tears. I took my heart away from him in every way I possibly could, yet he still has such a pull on the few heartstrings I was unable to snip. He leaves me forever on the verge of tears because I’m not his favorite and the occasional reminder pops up when I least expect it.
I’ve learned to swallow those tears and let those sad feelings slide off instead of stick…. until I glance down and see another girl’s name flash across his phone.
Anyone but me… ugh. Nothing feels worse than that.
I hate the instant response it inspires. I loathe how perceptive he is in knowing that the clouds have rolled in and I’m dark and stormy. I hate the situation in its entirety. I hate that mine isn’t the name that makes him grin when he sees it flash across his phone.
I fucking hate that most of all.
So I called in a favor and have a legendary date this evening to both celebrate my last day of my staycation during Daddy’s time and to remind myself that I can’t afford my favorite man.
Sometimes that’s all it boils down to: not being able to afford him. Not the heartache or the uncertainty, not the assumptions or the silent destruction of your self worth. Not the memory of a kiss that keeps me up at night. I can’t afford him, as much as there are moments that I’d give the world and everything in it to change that. As soon as I realized that the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze, I was able to let him go.
Dating after him reminded me that I don’t like timid or passive men. I like aggressive men who take what they want. I like enough confidence in a man that he’s brave enough to pursue me. I like him handsy, well spoken and adored by his family and friends. It’s not in my character to chase a man and I don’t like it.
My date tonight is an apex predator. He looks at me like I look at Incredicock. I know exactly what’s on his mind. I was recently accused of being a flirt, a familiar criticism that has always annoyed me… but there’s some truth to it. I realized it in setting up my date tonight.
J- So where would you like to go?
K- I’d like to take you to your favorite place. Or take you to mine.
J- Your favorite restaurant or your place?
K- You are welcome at both.
I grin at the implication and he laughs.
K- I’d love to cook you dinner if you’re comfortable coming to my house?
And this is why I have to go on this date. This date with a man that’s not the one I wish he were. I have to go because this man can’t wait to invite me. I don’t have to pray for him to see the light, he’s chasing ME down in hot pursuit in hopes of spending some time with me. That’s more like it.
I can barely ask for help, so I have no desire to beg for anything. I’m too annoyingly positive to waste time feeling bad and I just insist on being happy these days. Life is too short to be anything but driven towards making happiness a priority.
Even if you’re walking around like me… with a big papercut in the middle of both your palms.