Six months have passed. I have spent the last six months pretending that life is good and everything is okay; that I am happy. In this, I have been successful. I have not been successful in convincing myself. Or in keeping Mark out of my life; that is, until now. Only two short months after he left for what I thought was forever, I received a text from a number I didn't know. It asked how I was. Stupidly, I responded. By the time I realized I was talking to Mark, it was too late. My brain might have been slow, but my heart had somehow already known and it was roped in. So began a six week affair during which I thought we were back together. My life was finally back to normal, or so I thought, and the weight I bore in faking my happiness had lifted. Sadly, though not at all surprising, Mark was only in it for the sex. I wish he would have said as much from the start instead of waiting six damn weeks. It would have saved my heart a whole lot of pain. But he was a man. What was I really expecting? So naturally, he waited until an awkward moment when he noticed I was wearing my promise ring again and asked why. My obvious answer was something to the effect that we were back together and why shouldn't I wear it. That sparked an argument in which he blurted out that we weren't back together and he just simply didn't have time for a girlfriend, BUT he still loved me. When he dropped that bomb, I fell apart all over again. It was like going back to the beginning and re-experiencing every break, every tear. Lucky for me, I had pretended to be happy for so long that it came naturally this time around. Also lucky that I had told no one about my fling with Mark so I had no questions to answer and nothing to explain.
Of course, he wouldn't leave that easily. He wasn't going to continue on living with a guilty conscience over all the pain he'd caused and the mess he'd made. I received regular texts for months asking me to forgive him; asking if I hated him. Occasionally, he'd ask how I was doing. I lied in every one of my replies: yes, I forgive you; no, I could never hate you; I'm fine. I'm not sure whether I was trying to convince him that I was doing okay or myself. Regardless, as long as he kept texting, I kept responding because that kept him in my life. Truthfully, I wasn't ready to let go. Those six torrid weeks had my heart convinced that he still loved me and things would eventually work themselves out. I just had to be patient. Until yesterday. After six long, agonizing months, I came to the realization of what a piece of shit Mark really was. I credit this to a lot of long nights of journaling. And to a wonderful book called "It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken". All my reflecting led me to see him for what he really was: a narcissistic man (boy!) seeking self-gratification in places he shouldn't. Though I was still hurting, I also felt a new, very raw emotion: anger. Burning, red-hot anger that had finally found its way to the surface and it was about damn time. And when I received a text from him asking how I was, the anger blew sky high. Who was he to break me down, rip me apart, and continue to act like we were friends? What right did he even have in talking to me anymore? I took that anger and shoved it right back down his throat, figuratively of course. Although, I wouldn't have minded doing it literally. "Mark, I do not forgive you. I am not okay. You not only messed me up but also my entire life. And for that, I will always hate you." I paused, read it aloud, and decided to add "And no, we cannot be friends. Ever.". I pressed send in a fit of rage and felt a small semblance of relief. It was then that I decided to cut him out of my life completely. Maybe it would help; maybe it would make it worse. I blocked his phone number, blocked his Facebook, and shoved anything that reminded me of him into the far reaches of my attic. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and I regretted it the instant I did it. But, hopefully now I could move on with my life. I didn't think I'd ever be okay, but maybe I could stop pretending so much.