What If I Told You I Should’ve Stayed?


Never have I ever looked back on my life, wondering if I made the right choice or the wrong choice, having always trusted that my intuition was smarter than my heart. For the first time, and the numerous times I’ve fallen asleep at night in fear, praying for one less nightmare of you, I have replayed the moment I hastily left more times than I’d like to admit. My head, my heart, my intuition cannot seem to come to terms with leaving something I once loved so deeply, convincing itself that there were so many other variations of our story that could have been, should have been, but weren’t.

Do you feel this way, too? Does your mind create tangents when you fall asleep, waking you in a cold sweat in the night, confusing you as to what is authentic and what is fraudulent, wondering why I’m not by your side when you sleep or if I ever should have been at all? Do you ever question why I left? Do you even care that I left? Do you see me as a completed chapter in your life or as a story that was never fully finished? Where do I reside in your consciousness — in the back or the front or fully burned to shreds like each end of your cigarettes? Do you question everything in your life as I do now?

If I had stayed, would we still be in love? Could we have repaired the damage and fallen for each other throughout the streets of the world as we did in back alleys late at night? I still taste the first drop of wine that fell onto your lips the night you kissed me and asked me to stay. Do you remember how bitter it was, too? Or do you remember it sweeter than I do, in hopes that the memory won’t be as heartbreaking as it is now?

If I hadn’t had left, could we have stayed in love, taken our anger and channeled it into creativity more beautiful than we ever were? Our brains shattered onto the floors of the apartment we shared, bleeding out all of the good so we could clean ourselves into something better. Or would you launch my words back at my face like daggers, watching in fascination as each one slices my face, destroying the face of someone you once loved? Would you rather tear it into something so appalling to let go of the attraction you firmly attached to?

What if I told you I should’ve stayed? Would you take me back and love me? Would you stay, too, and fight? Or would you let us go as you did of anything that required any effort to obtain?

Was I not simple enough for you? Or could you have stayed, too?