I’m sorry; I can’t do this anymore.
You and me; we’re over. I’m tired of being made to feel inadequate; second best. It’s like being constantly cheated on, yet still knowing I’m damned eternally to play the role of the other woman. I’m bored of being discarded like a broken bagatelle, each weekend and on every significant social occasion; Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s.
Looking back, you let me know exactly where I stood right at the beginning when you told me the most important day we could ever spend together was my birthday; a date that remains utterly insignificant to her, so she wouldn’t suspect a thing and you’d play us both like the second violins we are to your virtuoso’s ego. I’m tired of the empty promises, the false hope of you telling me how much you love me and want to be with me when you’ve no intention of doing so. Empty words, like when you said you wanted to marry me and then dialled it down within the hour to vague talk of living together at some nebulous, undefined point in the distant future.
We both knew that it was me, not you, who wanted nothing more than for us to be together forever. Even after you’d pushed me away with your unthinking selfishness, I wasn’t ready to let go of the broken shell of our love. I was so desperate to cling on to the unreality of an imagined present and future, trying to salvage something, but it’s done me more harm than good, knowing the idealised version of our love I carry in my heart is not reciprocated.
Oh yes, you can say all the right things and then make plausible excuses for your cunning inactivity, but we both know if you’d really, in all sincerity, wanted me you would’ve made it a reality. I know you’re not entirely evil, so the whole affair hasn’t been a sordid ego trip, where you felt the power of having a lover quarter of a century your junior, hanging on a string. I don’t even think it was a case of getting a kick out of having two women unknowingly simultaneously bidding for your attention. At some level, I know you love me, but there was never any sense of commitment on your part, other than remembering to uncork the rioja for our midweek trysts.
All I’ve ever wanted is to be loved, and I naively believed you were the one who would provide me with the kind of affection and protection I have long craved. How I respected you. How I adored you. How you let me down. You see that old cliché is correct; actions do speak louder than words. I’ve grown weary of giving my heart, my soul and my love to you, while getting nothing tangible or sustainable in return. I was a fool, making you my priority and being content with the role of intriguing option in return. I was a mere plaything, someone with who to pass the time on cold winter nights during lockdown. Sent out of the room and told to stay quiet while you called her to dispense another dose of wasteful, weak, patronising words of supposed affection before lights out. I was an obedient child; biting my lip to shut out the sounds of bitter hypocrisy and cant that you spread across the lives of two women who had the stupidity to fall for your charm and your lies. You bastard.
Every time I think of your weasel words, I choke on the bilious nonsense of your assertion you’d like us to go out in public, after lockdown, after the spring warms the earth. You pretended that you wouldn’t care if we were seen, hand in hand like a courting couple with life’s endless possibilities ahead of them. Making memories. Planning weddings and lives. Contrast this with the furtive actions of the coward who stealthily left my bed on a Friday morning, maintained radio silence for the whole of the day and night, then sent a cursory text from under the sheets in the bed you shared with her, more than 18 hours later. I deserved and deserve better than the farcical fiction of a ludicrous wish that we’d met first, because that would have made it all so simple and so right. Liar. You know fine well you’ll never leave her, despite pretending this year will be no different to last. And now, I don’t want you to. Because I don’t want you; I want more. I refuse to feel this way for another 12 months, with the certainty that at the end of that period, you’d reject me again and again. I’m sorry; I can’t do this anymore.
The whole narrative you’ve constructed to describe your domestic arrangements makes me question what is reality and what is the version of it you see in your head. You claimed you didn’t love her and wanted to be with someone you respected. Your fanciful assertion that you merely get on with her, always have, but have never been attracted to her, has no truth to it. Let’s be clear about this; you don’t respect me. If you loved me you’d have left her for me or considered my feelings. The fact you haven’t does make a strange kind of sense when I consider the fact both of you hide so much from each other. She doesn’t want to worry you and you claim you remove confrontation by avoiding the issue when it comes to things that could upset her and force her into pushing you away. If you were looking for a way out, as you insisted, surely you could have referenced incidents in your ordinary life to lay the groundwork for your departure? You could, of course, have mentioned me and the love I felt for you.
To be blunt, I will never begin to understand why you’re so desperate to stay together when neither of you provide what you both need emotionally and physically. The fact you are prepared to settle for mediocrity shows that surely I can’t mean as much as you said I do. I genuinely thought I was something of value for you; even at first when you claimed you were only together for companionship. You painted a picture of an expendable arrangement of mutual content in the months before we fell in love, repeatedly referencing how you would certainly leave her once you’d met the right person. I genuinely thought you’d found that person in me, even when you told me there’d been 6 others with whom you’d strayed before we met, but clearly I was wrong. I still told myself we were different, after you explained the others were just dalliances, but clearly that’s all you and I were too. I guess that’s what hurts the most. So, I’ve decided it’s time I gained some self-respect, dignity and stopped wasting my love on something and someone I’ll never have. I’m worth more than this. Enjoy your life, but make no mistake, I won’t be in it.
I’m sorry; I can’t do this anymore.