By Dian Tinio
There are nights I wonder if you will ever have the courage to choose me. If there will be a day that I will have you all by myself, a time you can love me wholeheartedly, no excuses, no reasons. Just you and me unapologetically in love. I wonder if you will entirely erase her, for me. I wonder if there will come a point where you will make long term plans with me, when you will finally commit to me utterly. A time when you will have no other options, just me.
However, we both know that’s never going to happen. That’s bullshit. I want this to be honest and raw. So here goes nothing.
I’m sorry for how things went down.
Maybe it hurts you as much as it hurts me or maybe it hurts me even more. But know that I did this for myself, for once I know I’m doing something that my future self will thank me for. I know for a fact that this will benefit me in the coming days no matter how tortuous this is right now.
You know I have to end it; we have to end whatever this is. Whatever were doing, we need to quit it. No matter how you turn things around, we both know I’m on the losing end. I will attain more scars than you, I will have to mend more wounds than you. No matter how hard we try, how strong we fight, I will always be the inflicted one.
You cannot imagine how difficult this is for me, but I owe it to myself to at least save myself from further pain.
The ugly truth is, I will always be your second choice. I will always be the girl who will come after her. I will always be the girl who will be left behind, the girl crying in her bedroom trying to figure out where I fall short, where I was wrong, why I was less than enough, why I wasn’t the first choice.
I will always be the girl whom you will love, but never fully. The girl you will care about, but not more than her. The girl who will do her best, but still wasn’t the best, not for you.
I will always be the girl you’ll call after her, when she’s not picking up, when she’s too busy. I will always be your backup plan, when things didn’t work perfectly with her. I will always be your safety net, because you know I won’t leave. You know I’m constantly here waiting for you, that’s how much power you have over me.
And honestly, I should have realized that long time ago. That I wasn’t really first, that I’m always next to her.
You were hers first and maybe always will be.
So today, I’m doing myself a big favor. I’m choosing myself. I’m putting myself before you.
Thank you for always making me feel like I’m not worth it. For treating me like a disposable material that you can leave and come back to whenever you feel like it, whenever it is convenient for you. Thank you for never saying sorry and never making me feel like I deserve an apology, like I never deserve you conquering your pride and ego for me. Thank you for leaving me the burden to always be the one to figure out solutions and the mature one to come around and beg for your forgiveness. Thank you for making me feel like I should adjust my whole life to fit yours, to fit you.
Because if not for all of this, I wouldn’t have realized who I am and how I deserve so much better than you.
So I’ll stop waiting. I’ll stop hoping. I’ll stop making myself believe in ideas and happy endings I always write for myself. Because I know the harsh reality — I will never be your first choice. And though you were my greatest love, the love I will never regret, the love I will always come back to, the love I will always choose, I will never be your person. I will never be the one you’ll choose.
You were my greatest love, but that doesn’t equate a happy ending. Sometimes great loves become great loves because they teach us great lessons and what you taught me was the greatest of them all.
Dian Tinio is the author of Catastrophes, available here.