“Oh sweetheart, he will never tell you all his secrets if you’re a secret.” ~ Alfa
I’m done being your dirty little secret.
I’m over being kept away and hidden for only your convenience. Perhaps most of all, I’m done thinking that any of this is what I want.
My willingness to believe in others no matter what has always been my downfall. Through that, I have been the backbone, the constant for anyone who ever caught even a corner of my heart.
And so, I stayed—while it seems now you only played.
I suppose I can take partial blame for all of this, because you never did force me into anything. I walked into it willingly, all the while picking up the little cubes of sweet-sugared words that kept me here and fooled me into thinking I was satisfied. Yet now, all I seem to have is a bellyache from the bitter pill of reality I have to force down.
You never did plan on leaving her for me, and I wonder if you could even really imagine having me in your life…
Walking down the street hand in hand, not wondering who would see?
Taking pictures of cozy Saturday nights in without being anxious if they fell into the wrong hands?
Could you really love me out loud?
I feel like the worst kind of secret, because sometimes I wonder if I’m disappearing into your lies. By bending and molding my expectations around your desires, it’s as if I’ve been cutting my own corners trying to make myself okay with being invisible.
I don’t want to be a secret anymore; I don’t want to be hidden.
The worst part of all of this is that I love you more clearly than I ever have anyone. I do think that our names are written in the stars, but not in this way.
Not in secrecy. Not in pieces and parts. And not while you can’t truly be mine.
I respect the roles that each of us has had in all of this, and it has taken me a great deal of work and time to be truly ready for all that you brought.
But I can no longer do your work for you.
I can’t help you see the way out of an impossible situation, nor can I open your eyes to what has been right in front of you all along.
I fell in love with you before I even met you, and perhaps that was my ultimate downfall. Once we have fallen—it’s not really possible to see the truth of any situation.
You took my soul by surprise, and while I don’t know how to leave, I also no longer know how to stay.
I don’t know how to remain here in this place where I am only ever available to you—a place that leaves me lonely and isolated because I cannot speak the one name that matters most to me.
Sometimes, I wonder if I imagined the entire thing.
Perhaps all of this was more about satisfying your sexual needs than fulfilling a romantic connection. I’ve tried to understand what could make someone treat the person they love like this, and sometimes it’s just easier to believe you don’t love, than to think this is what love truly means to you.
I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be. I don’t always say the right thing, and sometimes those childhood wounds still surface. And while I don’t expect you to ever fix them for me, I do need you to stand witness to them.
But even that seems to be too much to ask.
So now, not only am I a secret, but all of my emotions are meant to remain that way too. As if by not mentioning them to you then maybe they won’t actually exist. Yet unfortunately, like most things, the more we hide them, the bigger grow.
I’m scared of losing you.
I’m scared of moving on.
But perhaps most of all, I’m scared of never loving anyone else in the way that I care for you.
I don’t want to be the clichéd girl who, at the end of the movie, is left alone while all those watching shake their heads because they could have predicted the ending right from the start.
I want to be the magic that makes people believe in true love. The kind of relationship that gives people hope that, no matter how dark or bleak it may seem, in the end love always wins.
But here I am once again, going to sleep alone beneath a feather down comforter with my small cat curled against my hips.
You talk in circles, and spin the truth until I don’t even know which way to turn in order to find the sun. And maybe I shouldn’t have stayed as long as I did, or perhaps I shouldn’t be leaving now. But I don’t know what else to do.
Because nothing I have ever done has made you want to be here with me each evening.
Nothing has ever made you decide that I am the one.
So, the only thing I can do is slowly turn away, gathering peace from the silence as my heart breaks into a million pieces—and I wish this could have ended any other way but this one.
I will still hold in my heart the whispers of what it would sound like if you asked me to stop and told me to stay. But for now I hear nothing but the sound of my own tears hitting the floor as I try to figure out how to un-love you.
I may not know much right now, but I do know that I am done being your dirty little secret.
“When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.”
~ Louis C.K.
Dedicated to the women cloaked in dignity and beauty who inspired this piece—may you always know that you deserve nothing less than to be loved out loud—and for the countless other women who love in secret.