why i should matter

It was cold, winter morning.
ph: Makayla Rogers

For 5 years, I have wondered when I would be a priority. When I would be important enough for you to say, "I'm here," and mean it. For 5 years, I waited for your empty promises of marriage proposals, international adventures, the words "I love you...unconditionally," that you actually meant. With your initiative, we we shopped for rings. We discovered the perfect one, together. I bought yours that day. Even customized it to symbolize our uniqueness and commitment.
We created a world meant for us. Your poems defined the ground we walked on, and my lofty dreams consistently created unpredictable weather. Yet, we continued to walk even when the terrain became unstable, we went on. We pretended that the road was not rough and that we could handle anything, even though the distance seemed exhausting with no end in sight.
For 5 years I grew, and you regressed.

We envisioned little ones, even named them. Always insisting that their lives would involve the team that defined us, and the NFL Play 60. Instead, accidentally and unplanned, ended up with two of the most amazing pups on the planet. We discussed for days, as they remained without named, what we would call them. Our names fit. Same first initials are "meant to be." And we created theirs, same first initials - yet this time they defined unconditional love. We lived separately in the same space. Even when we included one another, we were removed from what actually existed. I remember when your touch was anything but comforting, and looking at you as though the piece that I once clung to had evaporated into a close circle of what became your social world, where the word "cunt" became casual, when referring to your partner. The names you began to call me in our ruthless arguments were so devastating, that even my responses couldn't be formed out of the breaths I had left. After, when I said "I love you," I really meant that I was terrified to be without you, and that my love was something I mistook for co-dependence, and that when you told me I was damaged, and would never find anyone else, I believed you. I believed everything you said from the beginning until the end.

Our drawn-out goodbye was complicated as we counted down the days until you actually left. Your last week here, not an exchange passed, where we both weren't in tears. Never once saying, "we can do this," "whatever needs to be done, we'll do it." Instead our common space filled with questions of "why" and "how." Never finding an actual answer, just realizing that the concept of "we" was too far gone to ever retrieve, if it ever even existed, and the questions of "why," were inconsequential. We ended up where we did, because that is what we created. I have said for the past year that we control our own destiny. Never realizing that our destiny meant what we would never work.

We collectively planned our goodbye. You were to give me my key in exchange for your remaining elements you conveniently left behind. Instead you cancelled, even though I had already gone. Asking if there was any other day that we could do "this," Precisely meaning, it's $2.00 Coors cans, and the ending game for the Mavericks and Thunder, and that is more important than our world of 5 years. I simply replied, "no." Fully knowing that if I held on any longer, my soul was going to die while pleading for validation and importance. Instead, I remained. Your last typed words of, "OK. I guess just throw it away," meant more than you had intended. It was the last time that I would listen and believe the words you were giving me. I threw it away. All of it. Defined with the realization and intent that never again would I beg nor plead with anyone for the reasons why I should matter.

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