Just the tiniest bit of contact would make all the difference. It would make me feel like it is an honor to walk down the street with me on your arm. Instead, I am rebuffed whenever I gently brush my fingers alongside the back of your hand. Sometimes, you acquiesce and clumsily grapple my palm for a moment, only to drop it and put yours into your pockets. Each time you do, it is a strike upon the nail in the coffin housing the end of our relationship. Death by a million tiny taps.
More and more, when we walk together, you distractedly stride ahead. Why not stroll alongside me the way a gentleman should? During, you continue to talk like we’re having a conversation. I struggle to hear half of what you are saying and give up trying to listen. You seem oblivious to just how rude this is; how much of a self-important jerk you are being. Still, no amount of mentioning it seems to make an impact.
It makes me want to stop where I am at on the sidewalk and question why we are together. I wonder if you are just stringing me along with your rare, but warm words, and indifferent actions.
In your mind, your lack of affection is no big deal. It isn’t your primary “love language.” And yet, you use to hold my hand and shower me adoring compliments without prompt. But the years have taken a toll, and you’ve since stopped. I guess because we’re too familiar with one another. Yet, I still build you up when you need it. You take the ease of this relationship for granted and fail to reciprocate.
To you, the love we share doesn’t require daily reinforcement with affection and words. You’re positive; I must know you love me, even though this relationship isn’t moving forward. You like things the way they are. You are the one seemingly controlling the course, playing captain at the wheel. We are coasting in bliss. Except, we’re not.
To me, your disinterest in showing me affection, unless you want something from me, tells me I am not the person you ache to be with. You make me feel like I’m nothing to you. You’ve made it clear with your inaction you don’t need or want me; you have settled for me until something better comes along. Those are the bitter, poisonous thoughts slowly leach through me anyway. The doubt. Every time you ignore the occasion to hold my damn hand eagerly or look up from whatever screen you are preoccupied with and remind me how much I’m appreciated and needed in your life.
There is no ring on my finger. No pride in your voice when you introduce (or forget to introduce) me to others.
Over time, I will eventually stop reaching out, and I won’t make an effort to keep up. I won’t ache to hold your hand anymore, bolstered with the knowledge you don’t want to caress mine. I’ll grow frosty. My interest will wane, and you won’t understand why even though I’ve said it a million times. I don’t ask for diamonds and trips; I just want you to hold my damn hand. If words are not enough, my actions to hold yours should have been a clue.
As with the others who came before you, regret will come months after I’m gone. After, you realize how good you had it. How hardworking, kind, considerate, giving, eager, and sacrificing I was to your cause and needs.
My warm body will disappear from your bed. My audience, listening to you when you needed to vent, will go too. You’ll have the gall to be confused as to why.
My hands are strong, creative, loving. But they have been deprived of affection for so long, I’ve resorted to holding my own hand. At least this way I know for sure the one holding it loves me.
When you are lonely and in doubt, remember this:
You deserve to be someone’s first choice.
You deserve to be cherished & NOT taken for granted.
You deserve to be chosen & NOT settled for.
You deserve someone who WON’T string you along and waste your time.
Love and value yourself, and put your needs first.
[An assignment on musings about love, life, and regret.]