1. Don’t flatter yourself to think that I am dead. I am not writing this from the grave. Yes, it hurt, what you did. But I had lived 25 years without ever knowing you, and God willing, I think I can survive another 25 more.
2. Don’t shrink your hand in this, either. I am neither crippled with grief nor blissfully unscathed by your actions. Opening up to me – having me open up to you – and then evaporating into nothing without warning is wrong. Own it.
3. Delete my number.
4. Delete the photos.
5. Why are you still peeping me on social media? My life is not the revolving door at Macy’s for you to walk in and out of when you’re feeling indulgent and want to window shop.
6. If I slept with you, I get to call you my ex. I don’t care if you consider me one or not. If I made myself physically vulnerable to you, you meant a lot to me once. You walked away, but you don’t get to minimize the illusion you portrayed in order for me to trust you that much.
7. Expect me to carry on and accomplish all of the dreams I whispered to you, when we lay in bed, hidden under the cloak of night.
8. You don’t get to come back. I’m not just saying that to you – I’m reminding myself.
9. You don’t get to ruin me. You don’t get to maim me forever and poison the well of affection and sincerity and hopeless optimism that hums deep within me. You don’t get to take away poetry, or romance, or the way the moon at night somehow makes me feel in love and yet simultaneously heartsick. You may have stolen away like a candle blown out, violently extinguished, nothing left but the vapors of your absence for me to cry to. But I still have Zhivago, and Darcy, and – fuck it – Ryan Gosling. I still have me – and I love myself with the depth and complexity that will challenge any future love to match my bet on myself or raise me another poem, another kiss on my shoulder, another note left hidden in the margin of my books.
10. You will remind me, from time to time, to guard my heart, but not because love is something I should fear. Love is who and what I aspire to be.
It’s a shame you had to miss out.