The truth of my life, at that moment, was that Reality is a bitch.
I doubt that I ever thought he would face the ramifications of our actions while standing next to me because it was something I could never ask of him. I had justified that asking him to wait for me was more than I deserved- Now I’m left grasping to remain focused because the possibility of what his response could have been leaves me petrified.
He was eighteen, I remember because I reminded him of it often after he teased me- how could I have asked him to be an adult with me? I wasn't able to convince myself that request was fair. I felt a new piece of me begin to tear. His trust was rendering my thoughts suffocated. I was anxious to fix everything and everyone but there wasn't a Band-Aid big enough to amend all of the consequences.
I confessed everything to my father and he didn't waste any effort in trying to mask his disappointment- he left me suffering in silence while he thought of a response. I anticipated a hard truth but I hadn't prepared for how cold it would feel. He reminded me of who had more to lose and questioned if I could do that to an innocent person – I was lost in that moment before I realized that I couldn't do it.
Did he know I was slipping away? Could he feel the distance I was putting between us? I could and it tasted bitter like a cold penny dissolving on my tongue.
There was nothing sweet about our last night together- he was mad at me and I used it to wedge us further apart. I used his anger to make the disconnection easier- then I left.
He argued that I ruined everything- he said the mess was entirely my fault; but he knew of my situation.
I never intended to leave him feeling abandoned or cast aside! I only meant to let him move on, free of the penance I was left to pay. My punishment was the disease of festering guilt feeding on memories I had refused to release.My intention was to have him be spared of the pain and guilt I had to endure because I was the adult in our relationship.
If I lost focus, the barriers on my mind would slip; my thoughts would be concerned with him. I caught myself hoping he was doing well and imagining he had been left unscathed. I never considered he would feel pained by my decision- and I never considered he would focus on each of my flaws daily until he magnified them to a disgusting hatred for me. If I had realized sooner I would've tried to help him.
Days died with the sunset and were reborn with the sun rise- months passed before I could consider exposing my existence to him. I thought he was fine because his laughter would echo into my classroom; I never forgot his voice.
I wanted to apologize to him, for everything! I had decided to accept complete responsibility because I realized that not everything can be divided both equally and fairly.
His voice traveled into my class near the end of the period during each of the lectures; it was reoccurring and could be timed to the final ten minutes of class. I dedicated seconds of dwindling minutes to listen to his tone to detect signs of happiness- I thought he was fine.
I was hesitant with the action of apologizing because I was worried it would do more harm than good, but I had to know he was doing well. I’m ashamed of my apology because it was composed in a cowardly manner and delivered through an email. My trepidation in facing him was founded in the uncertainty as to whether he wanted to see me. He accepted my sincerity and we proceeded to be playfully platonic as long as he thought I was unavailable.