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Jan 2015
Spotted you from that afro hair as I waited for you at the bottom of the stairs thinking we'd have a good chill today cause you avoided me yesterday but from the look on your face, that staring into space I knew what was coming, even thought about making a joke about it as we shuffled our way to the park, but this was no game, no pack of cards, hands in your pocket waiting to sit on this bench.

" I don't feel like I'm in a Relationship"
Took the words right out of my mouth so there was no need for me to speak, even in the silence my heart beat weak, till it was broken by this guy sat next to us acting commentator and referee, giving name to these strangers as they played a basketball match behind you and me. You took note and stared up, half laughed and smiled at me and I did too cause it was funny. A moment back to being care free, when we were at our best, making jokes and being silly. Return to silence pulled us from the reverie as you averted eyes again, thinking this wasn't a time for jokes but seriously I wish we were waiting to play in that match instead of sitting on this bench about to become unattached.

This too was a no contact sport , me on one side you on the other as we wrestled with what to say to each other. Eye contact replaced with sigh contact as you fought your thoughts that longed to form words out of fear you couldn't retract or take them back once spoken.

But I needed to know! So you see those hench guys playing basketball? I'd get them to come pin you down until you told me, thump you as you dump me, threats empty. But in the end you told me
" I still don't know If this is the right thing to, I don't wanna confuse you"
But it was too late for that. It could be so frustrating, indecision was your play thing, used to be endearing now you choose to be decisive end nearing.
"You're amazing" a statement that just added to the labyrinth as I realised this was inescapable I would have ran away if I was able, but I remained stable.
"Don't feel you have to spare my feelings" And I really meant it, but i also knew without hesitation you always would. Said you wished you'd met me later, funny thing time. When we met you said you'd wish you'd met me sooner but better late than never. On my birthday said my 22 years had led us to this cross roads together, but now we cross paths like we never met,  some days I wonder if we ever did.

Even though a big part of me was breaking inside, it's sad that even now I don't know if it was heart or pride as I stayed sitting by your side. Swore I could see the ghosts of us walking past the park, Sat there and zoned out recalling the first day we walked this way in the dark. You'd stayed late after college with my friends and me. Remember feeling happy that you got on with them so effortlessly, each of you teasing me. Think you stayed just to see me. Stole your hat and ran down this street, gave it to my friend to hide, had a mini water fight, got to the station and gave you a hug that I didn't think would end when we said goodbye; but not this time.

Delayed the walk away because I knew it would be the last time we'd freeze time and see each other; said this aloud ,asked if there was somebody else cause that's what all girls do right?  Stared me straight in the eye and said
"There's nobody. Are you asking cause everyone asks that?"
"No, I asked for me" said somewhat aggressively the most honest I'd been with you for weeks. Shook your head and looked down despairingly "I made you think there were other girls, I can't believe..."

I don't know if they were tears forming in your eyes or why they were there, I only ever thought I saw you cry once, heard the sobs in your bathroom and when you came out I didn't know how to comfort you just like now, said this out loud. Cause there were no tears to be found in my eyes, not yet anyway, cut off by pride. But as I got up and walked away, half hoping for that cliche "come back I've made a mistake!"
These eyes gave way to sobs I wish you'd seen so you would know that I wasn't cold or mean , that this had meant something to me beyond words...

There was a time yours meant a lot to me, but now they run over and over in my mind on repeat, haunting me. like a hit and run driver, tax disk empty. Is that what all those deep words filling up my glass were? Empty. Cruel how words last centuries.

We used to speak a lot, everyday. I wish I could say it was my receptions fault, look into the air and blame sky and satellites that I couldn't lay in bed and wish you goodnight but that's a lie. Truth is we'd drifted and I don't know if any form of communication could have fixed it.

Cause that girl you told me you think you should stop speaking to well you never did, saw her photo pop up on your messages, though I wasn't looking for it. The day I came to ask you if you were happy in this relationship. Do you know how hard that was for me? Potentially putting us in jeopardy by getting too deep. Held my hand as you ran through all possibility such was your constant diplomacy as reassurance was steadily being replaced with insecurity. But I guess jealous is what jealous With all that constant unease this Gut couldnt be interrupted, cause I knew that this was coming for weeks. But I guess jealous is what jealous did...nothing. Brushed it under the carpet, until it took me apart bit by bit, left a bitter taste in my mouth that's why I spit.

Like that day i made a joke about faking it relentlessly tore into you till you saw right through it, said it didn't sound like a joke any more and if that's how I was gonna be you didn't wanna see me
"cause that's stress"
"do you think I'm stress?"
" not usually"
That really got to me. That made me angry that you had the cheek to say that to me, when all I wanted to do was see you that week. Cause we didn't speak like we used to, message you one day be lucky to get a reply in the next two, you know by the end I didn't even feel that I could ring you. Such was my complex about being clingy, exasperated by your distance and that gutsy unease but mainly because I'd replaced honesty with words spoken passive aggressively, turned into that girl I never wanted to be.

But it stemmed from care. I didn't think you could handle it without care. Remember how I used to trace lines across your back and brush your hair?  I didn't wanna upset you, so instead I upset me kept it inside until it did seep out, cause I didn't trust you and you could see I wasn't happy. Even now it cuts me deep to think you might have lied to me. But don't think that I don't see it stemmed from care. I don't think you thought I could handle it without care. Remember how you used to hold me in your arms and stroke my hair? Cause I do. That's what makes it hard to accept that that something was no longer there. Missing in action, loving look replaced with a blank stare. And now I'm left to fill in the spaces.

Did our relationship remind you of another? Make you miss somebody else? Did it not live up to your ideals? Got you caught up in a moment and then you couldn't back track cause you felt trapped by the kinda girl I am, the one that's down for you, the one that was down so now finds it hard to get back up.
"I love your company"
I think I made you happy briefly but now I wonder why you were with me? For comfort, a rebound, a *** thing? I don't know if the attraction was just distraction or the real thing. Was it cause you were lonely, escapism "a moment of imperturbability" when you caught a glimpse of me sleeping? Cause I didn't know what you wanted, and neither did you but it turned out to be that it wasn't me.

And that's why breaking up was the right thing to do. I wasn't ready either. You know I started getting paranoid about things that never used to bother me, like how I didn't have that black gyal *****. And slowly about other girls as I wondered if they were part of an ego trip, or the next best thing, thought about how we first got talking, how we were getting close and I wasn't aware you was with someone till you were having problems. Was you now having the same conversation about me with someone ?

I just think of all those conversations about our end and all the dodgy moments where it seemed you didn't want it to be known we were together, almost play pretend
"didn't know you were doing a thing?!"
"ahh its just a fling"
Those sly digs at me that I stopped finding  funny and started taking personally cause they sounded more like truths than jokes to me. Pushing me away indirectly but deliberately, your arm not resting on me when we last watched a movie, calling me by my first name instead of "***" All indications that we were done. All indications so I feel dumb. All those alarm bells, those preparations back to "friend" marking our end. But in the end all of that is just part of the bigger pic as you got to know me better than most and ended it, preferred me as a stranger so estranged is where I sit. Bench Warmer the perfect fit. Was I bench warmer till you found your perfect fit?

But maybe I don't give you enough credit, maybe in upset I misinterpret a lot of it. I don't know and though it kills me to say it I think we both liked the idea of a relationship but in the end our actuality stopped living up to it. But the promise we held in some of the moments we shared are hard to forget.

Late night gallavants, me backing out of pranks, singing in the street, you attempting to teach me how to cook and eat healthily, making first date brownies, chin ups in the car park, quoting me back word for word on something I'd said, it showed you listened, you could be so sweet and considerate, watching all those movies, the deep conversations, you looking after me when I was sick, snuggling up to you, biting your lip, taking your dog for a walk, that cute face he'd pull so we'd fuss over him, (I swear I love that dog) all the playfighting, me showing off and falling in a water fountain, all the banter and laughing, stealing a Boris bike and riding through the city streets at night I swear a lot of those were the best days of my life.

What was to follow, not so much.
You know when we ended I found myself in a counsellors room again, cause I never really did well with ends. It's why ellipsis is my favourite punctuation mark, I remember when you used to say
"I see through those dots"
Well I hope I do and this doesn't hold up indefinitely, now I actually hope for an ending, ironically.

Last thing I said to you was sorry an unwritten apology in a hug. Ask me why I did it I shrug. Cause I'm not sure what I was apologising for in that moment. I was a bit tipsy, at our friends get together when I shouldn't be , had only been a few weeks since our bench press talk but surely Someone who cared woulda made sure that I got back alright, but you didn't that night. I suppose I had just told you that I didn't want any contact with you and I needed space. Maybe you didn't feel it was your place. Maybe the message I sent to our mutual friend got through , you saw it and you didnt feel you needed too. See how I still explain things away for you? Like when you never came to my friends BBQ, left me alone in a group of couples asking after you. And a lot of the times after I have these thoughts about you I feel guilty, cause they don't match up with the person I see you to be, hence my apology.

I'm sorry if my sense of humour proved too crude for you at times , how I'd misjudge it and get too loud in a crowd, calling you a ***** in front of your boys for not asking me out. Telling people about us, not gaining your trust, losing my innocence to you too soon smothering our spark in lust. Sorry for how I'd stay in silence when I wanted to shout, stopped giving you an open account of how i was feeling so you couldn't figure me out. For not having the strength to remain your friend, nor the courage to bring the end to us sooner, for catching you unaware at this shindig now. Sorry I didn't live up to your first love or help heal your heartbreak and that I couldn't be that happy girl you first met at lunch break all the time, the insecurity that constantly chimed. That I proved too much for you.
Not accepting that you wasn't feelin it sooner and that you felt trapped.
I'm sorry that I couldn't be there for you like I wanted to and now I'm jealous that somebody else is the one to look after you.
That I didn't show the qualities that meant that you would let me in, joking I was a lesbian. Sorry I expected too much, you were young just turned 19, sorry if that sounds patronising. I'm sorry if you're ever feeling alone or down, if you felt I didn't understand. But most of all I'm sorry that I compromised my honesty, honestly for that I'm truly sorry.

And as I'm being honest I might as well say the 4th of May was our anniversary when I said I wouldn't remember I lied. Just like on that day when I said we'll just see how it goes, I lied. Of course I hoped it'd go steady, but in the end you were just a Boy on a bench I walked away from cause he wasn't ready...
you were just a Boy on a bench I walked away from cause he couldn't love me.

But in truth you weren't just a Boy on a bench at all.
**You were my best friend.
Dang! It's a long one, in the words of my year 7 English teacher Mr Winter's " I didn't ask for your life story!" Well I guess this is sorta. If this seems all over the place it's because it is. Its been an ever evolving piece in my search for peace over the past few months since my first break up. It's proven to be quite cathartic to be honest.
There's many story's of us depending on the day and this serves to include them all. Truth is in my search for understanding and acceptance many emotions have been felt. And I've come to realise that the pair aren't mutually exclusive.
Written by
Rhianecdote  London
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