If You Cared About Me, You Would Let Me Go


I was so close to being over you.

My days were finally beginning to feel a little less empty without you. I was no longer paralyzed by time; the hours of the day were starting to fly by like they used to. I was dating again, and while I still hadn’t met anyone I liked as much as you, at least I was putting myself out there.

I still thought of you fairly often — more often than I would like to admit — but you didn’t wholly consume my thoughts anymore. I wasn’t haunted by the memory of you. You weren’t the warmth in my bed; I couldn’t swear I felt your arms around me as I tossed and turned all night long.

I had stopped compulsively checking your social media pages for updates on you, and I had stopped waiting for you to text me and then getting irrationally angry with the person who lit up my screen instead. It was like as the snow began to melt outside, the hold you had on my life was melting away, too. The days were getting sunnier and warmer and so was my outlook on life.

And then you came back.

I don’t know why I answered your text. I had sworn over and over (and over) again that should you text me, I wouldn’t reply. But I did. And I went out for drinks with you, too. I know that this makes me weak, and senseless, and hypocritical. But I couldn’t help myself.

I guess I couldn’t shake the feeling that we belonged together. I’d never felt the way you made me feel before, and I liked that feeling too much to let it go. So I let you back in. And it took you no time at all to consume my life all over again.

You’ve started texting me all the time and telling me about all the things you want to do with me. You tell me how glad you are that we met and that I always make you laugh. You like literally everything I post on Facebook and post inside jokes on my wall on a regular basis. I know that this doesn’t necessarily mean anything; maybe that’s just how you are with all your friends. Or maybe it’s not. I don’t know how you are with your other friends, because I still haven’t met them. But I do know some things.

I know that I can feel you in my veins, pulsating through my body. I know that my skin craves your touch. I know that I’m helplessly drowning in you. And I know that you don’t care about me.

If you cared about me, you wouldn’t drift in and out of my life whenever it’s convenient for you. You wouldn’t have come back solely because you broke up with your last fling. And you wouldn’t leave the minute you find someone new. But I know that you will. Because you don’t care about me.

If you cared about me, you wouldn’t just stand there watching me drown. You would throw me a line. But you never will. Because you don’t care about me.

If you cared about me, you would have introduced me to your friends at your birthday party. You wouldn’t have just quickly hugged me, said hello to my friends, and then wandered off, unseen for the rest of the night. You didn’t even say goodbye before you left the bar. Because you don’t care about me.

If you cared about me, you wouldn’t take advantage of my feelings for you. You wouldn’t constantly take and take and take without giving anything in return. But you never do, and you never will. Because you don’t care about me.

If you cared about me, you wouldn’t tell me about the things you want to do with me while having no plans of actually doing them. You wouldn’t tell me about your past making me think I might just have a future with you. You would want to celebrate my flaws, not make me hyper aware of them. You wouldn’t text me all the time and compliment me and tell me about all the things you love about me — leaving me to question what it is then that you don’t like about me, why you don’t like me enough to date me.

Most importantly, if you cared about me, you would let me go. You would release me from your grasp and let me be free, let me untangle myself from your web and find my old self again. Eventually, I know that you will. Because when it comes down to it — and I can say this quite confidently — you don’t really care about me. I’m just a momentary distraction to hold you over until you find someone else. I just hope you get it over with quickly, because despite knowing all of this, I’m still not sure if I’ll ever stop caring about you.

featured image – Peng Zhang