I know how it feels to lie in bed and trace the outline of their face with your eyes. In these serene moments, all the bad melts away. You stare so hard that you can make out every feature even in the darkness. You feel your love for them so deeply in every inch of your body that you think, how can I ever doubt this?
But you do doubt it. Every day, when they feel just that little bit further away, even though they’re sitting in the same seat they are every day, the distance begins to stretch so far that you begin to lose sight of them.
You doubt it the first time they look at you with just the slightest bit of disapproval when in the past, they would’ve lit up at anything you said. It’s there on their face but instead you think of the darkness, where they become an abstract idea of themselves. When they are quietly sleeping, you can’t say anything wrong.
You doubt yourself when they turn things on you. When the blame that is so clearly to be placed on them suddenly comes back onto you. It’s scrambled around in your brain until they start to make sense; well I did push you too far or I knew what would happen if I said that.
You doubt them when they say that they love you because there’s been so many times, that aren’t these tender moments, but that are rage filled with venom spewing from them as they ask how could they have ever loved you? How could anyone ever love you? But the way they look when they lie so peacefully beside you, it’s like an antidote. They love you. They must love you or else they wouldn’t be with you. No one else could love you like them, right?
That doubt that lurks around in the corners of your brain that you try to avoid, that doubt is who you once were telling who you are now that it’s time to leave. Who they once were is long gone, replaced instead by the shadow of the person you fell in love with. There’s nothing left inside them to give to you and yet you still pour yourself into them, giving up pieces of you to fit into what they want. It’s not what you want though. That doubt is the real you, not the version they’ve created, screaming from the depths of your soul, begging you to love yourself more than you love them.
You have to listen. Listen to the doubt because it’s telling you the truth. You deserve so much more than someone who will take the fiery, ambitious person you are and wear you down until there is nothing left. You deserve so much more than empty conversations with the shadows.
You deserve to have someone look at you in the darkness whilst you sleep and truly see every single part of you that makes you special. For them to wake up with every morning ready to love and encourage and push you to be the best version of yourself. You deserve better.
I’m an English and Creative Writing student at University of South Wales. I got into writing poetry as a child and have always used it as an outlet for my emotions. Recently, I’ve started to share my work on social media and am hoping to pursue a career in writing.