WINNER: The Wounded Bird Flies Faster
You inspired me to fly. By cutting off my wings and pushing me over the edge, I had to learn to soar without anything to hold me up. But without the extra weight of your casual abuse sitting on my shoulders, I was light enough to escape through an unfamiliar sky like a shooting star.
Love will change you. Unreciprocated love will transform you. Your cold absence brought me closer to my own soul until I was able to feel the warmth that shone from within. I learned who I am without your shadow forcing me into tight boxes and neat lines. I am no longer ashamed of the years I spent on you. You taught me how to love. Now it’s time I take the love I had for you and give it back to myself.
Life’s greatest lessons are not learned through textbooks, but through the words and actions of another flesh and bone human with a heart as fragile as yours. You taught me patience (I was always waiting for you to change). You taught me kindness (I was soft for a man who only knew darkness). You taught me vulnerability (I let my thoughts spill onto your lap in the hopes that you would do the same). But most of all, you taught me that no matter how hard you fight for someone, how much you care for them, or how much you love them, it will never be enough if they are unwilling to face even their own reflection in the mirror.
I once heard that we accept the love we think we deserve. I guess that means you always knew you didn’t deserve me, and I’m so sorry to myself for not realizing that until much, much later.
The tides of grief are not always chaotic. It is not always inflicting destruction upon the mind or rushing against the dam we construct within our hearts so as not to feel the hurt. Sometimes the tides of grief are calm, soft, ebbing and flowing just like our joy ebbs and flows. Sometimes it comes when we least expect it, when we think it had went away forever. Like when I don’t realize I’m still looking for you until I see the back of a dark-haired stranger and stop in my tracks, hoping it’s you. Or when I catch the flicker of a hearty laugh that sounds just like yours. Or when someone hugs me and I somehow crumble into their embrace, confusing their arms for yours.
But in spite of the wounds you have inflicted upon me, I am still grateful for you. This human existence is full of bliss and sorrow, laughter and pain, love and heartache, and by the fated coincidence of two souls such as ours briefly merging, I was able to experience the entire spectrum of these emotions within you, one simple human. I am excited to continue on with my life, my heart so broken it is forever cracked open and ready to receive the love of future characters who won’t have to be told to handle me delicately.
So thank you, heartbreaker, for destroying the girl I used to be. Without you, I would have never been inspired to find who I am now.
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