When Did You Stop Loving Me?


I keep rewinding time and letting our memories play on a loop so I can figure out which pieces of our relationship were real and which pieces were only you playing pretend.

I wonder how many times you said I love you out of habit, because it’s what I expected to hear you say and because you had grown comfortable saying it, even though you had stopped meaning it.

I wonder how many times you had pressed your lips against mine even though you were secretly daydreaming about being somewhere else with someone else — either someone imaginary or someone you had already met and wished you could trade me for.

I wonder how many times you looked me in the eyes and lied to me while I stupidly believed every word that came out of your lips. I wonder whether you felt guilty when I nodded along to your bullshit stories or if you looked down on me for being so naive, if you thought I was an idiot who deserved what I was getting.

I wonder how many times you pretended to be single in order to convince someone to go home with you — or whether you started those conversations by complaining about what a bitch you were stuck with, about how you were trapped in a loveless relationship, to make them feel bad for you.

I wonder how many times you felt relieved when you were left alone in the house for a weekend or were forced to stay late at work. I wonder how long you have considered being away from me a good thing.

I wonder how many times you complained about me to your friends and to your coworkers and to your mother behind my back. I wonder whether they knew our relationship was over before I received the news myself.

I wonder how many times you were texting me from somewhere you weren’t supposed to go. Or texting someone you weren’t supposed to be involved with while you were sitting right next to me, holding my hand, or snuggling in bed.

I wonder how many times you thought about breaking up with me and then stopped yourself because separating would be too complicated, too inconvenient. Or maybe because you wanted to look like you had the perfect life from the outside. Or maybe because you were still lying to yourself and refusing to admit that everything you had created had fallen apart.

I wonder how many times you screwed me over that I will never know about. I wonder how many secrets you kept from me and how long you were able to hold them between your lips. I wonder just how stupid I was to stay with you for so long without a clue.

I wonder how many months (or years or decades) it is going to take me to get over what you have done to me. I wonder whether the baggage you have brought me will weigh me down for eternity. I wonder whether you have caused irreversible damage I never fucking deserved.