4:44 In Atlanta

I wrote him this letter on May 9th 2017. I intended to get closure from it but as I got to the end, I decided my words needed to be heard. So first, I gave the letter to him-all 4 pages of it. I kept a copy for myself, and said when the time was right I would share my soul with the World. Let it be known, this will be the last thing I share regarding something so personal and fragile. No matter what happens in the morning, this is all you will be left with. 

“You can’t heal what you don’t reveal”

I had only been in love 3 times.

There was my first love, when I was 15. I didn’t know anything about it. I just knew I was in it and I thought it would last forever. We had a baby 5 years after our first kiss, and it was over. I wasn’t even devastated, we had grown apart and were adults now. Shit was different. We’re still friends.

The 2nd love was my first adult love, I was 23. He was charismatic but shy, I made the first move. I later found out he had a girlfriend. But I had a crush on him too bad to care, we lasted 3 tortuous years. This relationship caused my anxiety & depression, I cried a lot. But he still made me smile. Finally, I started to love myself more than I loved him. I’m grateful for him, he taught me what love wasn’t.

The 3rd love, is you. I was getting over him, and excited because I had finally learned to love myself. I was glowing, I was happy. I still remember you sitting at my desk, in your white t-shirt. Your voice was soft and low, innocent. You had the prettiest eyelashes and eyebrows I’d ever seen, and lips like mine. But I was good, I didn’t want to fall in love again. I remember our 1st date was supposed to be at Olive Garden but you had to work, and you came by and gave me lunch money anyways. You asked for a hug and I melted. You smelled incredible, and you were different. I don’t remember our first kiss but I remember the first time we slept together. It was quick, we were half dressed and on the floor. But it was good, I had no idea how much better it would get over time. You were never much of a kisser, which was my only complaint. You had this amazing mouth, but didn’t kiss me with the whole thing lol. It drove me crazy, until I realized what you preferred to use that beautiful mouth for. That drove me crazy for real. I don’t remember our first fight, but I remember the next morning you bought me roses and a card to apologize. I didn’t realize we would fight so much, and your apologies would turn into resentment. I wasn’t healed enough to date you, yet I had started to fall in love with you and I wanted to keep it. I didn’t realize the pressure I put on you to be perfect.

I remember our engagement, we were screaming outside in the middle of the night at your job, breaking up actually and you shouted “MARRY ME THEN!” and without a thought, I agreed. I really wanted to, but neither of us were ready. I just knew that I loved you and no one had ever asked me to marry them before. I made a video montage of our relationship, to Ed Sheeran’s “thinking out loud” and my friends cried tears of joy. To this day, that song makes me cry, because of you. I remember when you went to Philly for 2 weeks, you missed me so much and it felt good. I was sad, but I enjoyed you saying “I need you, Jam. I want to be home with my fiancé…” I didn’t even have a ring lol but what we had was real. I wore a fake one, that’s how happy I was. I remember the night you flipped out on me, because I didn’t come home and I begged my grandmother to call you and lie for me. You were right though, I was out with someone else. And when you asked me, I was afraid to lose you so I lied and I cried and I begged you to stay. Our affair was brief, even though he had been trying to win me over for months. He snuck a dozen pink roses in my car for my birthday. He was romantic as hell, and sweet, right around the time you & I started to fall apart. You had stopped doing all the things you did in the beginning, I was begging you to spend time with me or for us to go on dates, but we just seemed to hit a wall. We slept together once, and I felt so guilty and awful I thought I would throw up so I faked it and closed my eyes. I liked him but I loved you. I ended things with him right around the time you found out and I never talked to anyone else again. In my mind, I hadn’t cheated because we were so off & on, but I was wrong. I kept a secret from you, I lied to you when you asked me about him.

You and I were good but I was still losing you, even after I tried everything. I thought going away would get us back on track, and it did until we got home. You were busier, distant. You stopped being affectionate, we argued more. I was needy, I was clingy, I complained when I didn’t get my way, I expected you to love me the way I had tried to love you but it doesn’t work like that. We’re human and we’re two different people.

When I found out about her, I was hurt because we were good. Finally. After a horrible break up around father’s Day, we were back together and happy. And she ruined us. I was angry at her, I was disappointed in you. You had called my parents the night before and promised my dad that you wouldn’t hurt me again. I was completely broken. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I knew I still loved you and would be with you, but you let her disrespect our relationship. You let her keep calling, you kept talking to her. In my head, this was worse than what I had done. I had done something wrong but protected you at the same time. You didn’t do the same for me, and when she approached me; I hated your guts. I was humiliated, my friends hated you and they told me I would be stupid to ever go back. But…I loved you. And you were sorry. You made a mistake. But you made another one after her, it was smaller but you left this time. I was broken all over again. I stopped trusting you, I felt like every time your phone lit up; it was another woman. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I’d loved you through every high and low, I’d supported your career and pushed you to chase your dreams, I’d loved your daughter and planned a life with you. I’d listened to your heartbeat while you slept and stared at your face, I knew when you were happy or sad or tired. I knew you bit your bottom lip when you were uncomfortable or lying, I knew your hands moved constantly when you were nervous. I knew you coughed when you were thinking of the right thing to say, I knew that you were afraid though. Of loving me, and trying not to lose yourself. I missed your birthday on purpose, we didn’t celebrate our 1-year anniversary in Oct because we got back together a few days after, but before my birthday we were over again. We gave up on trying, we turned our backs on each other. Both too stubborn to change. I knew I needed to change too, but I felt like I was doing enough. And I wasn’t. I should’ve focused more on my own happiness and maybe you would’ve enjoyed my company more. I didn’t have to scream at you. I didn’t mean to make you feel like you never did anything right. I shouldn’t have jumped out your car and walked home and told you we were done. I expected you to save me, when you really didn’t know how to save yourself. I didn’t fight fair. I didn’t mean to hurt you-I know I did, and I’m sorry.

After you, I tried love again. But I didn’t feel anything, there were no butterflies. I missed you, but he was safe. I knew he wouldn’t cheat on me and he meant well, but that was it. I didn’t feel him walk into a room and we shared a home together. I could always be in a crowded place and feel you as soon as you walked in. Like that night at Harold’s on Edgewood. I remember asking him to climb Stone Mountain with me and he always made excuses, I remember making it to the top with you though. I missed how I would cry and you would hold me. I never got that from him. We weren’t emotionally connected at all. I realized there were times I took you for granted and I missed that, I missed how you cared for me. I tried to love him, I was excited to meet his family in Augusta but I didn’t care. And then I thought about how I had begged to meet your family and you held off, and I was mad at you for it. But looking at my family, I understand now. I thought I was a secret but maybe you just didn’t want them to ruin it. He never bought me flowers once and I love them.  I remembered when you showed up at my job with 3 bouquets of beautiful flowers-because I was mad at you lol But you knew how to make me smile and you tried. I remember all the “just because” gifts and cards, the times you took whatever was in your pocket and put on my dresser, for me to get my nails done or whatever I wanted, randomly. I spoiled you too, because you deserved it and making you happy made me happy. I remember when you met my brother, and he loved you, and you made him laugh. I remember you took me on a picnic in Piedmont Park because I had never been on one. We danced barefoot in the grass to jazz and got attacked by a goose lol, and I fell in love with you all over again.

When you came to see me at my new place, I hated your hair grown out and it had been months since I’d seen you, but the butterflies were still there. I remember telling myself I was finally over you, and feeling good. I never told my friends I had spoken to you or saw you, I wasn’t sure what this meant yet. But I remember waking up the next morning and missing you…so I had to see you again, and you touched me this time. We were nervous and silent. I tried not to cry, but you finally kissed me with your full mouth. My heart skipped a few beats. We made love and I wanted to tell you I never stopped loving you and I would’ve come back that very night, but I didn’t. I was afraid of loving you again, I was afraid of what my friends would say, I was afraid that you weren’t different. I was afraid that I was too different.

I made you the bad guy because it was easy to, I wasn’t willing to accept any blame in our breakup. I was more emotional, I cried a lot, my friends assumed you were awful. And you weren’t, we didn’t have more bad than good at all but our bad was BAD lol. We fought so unfair. We always said things we didn’t mean. We cursed each other out in public, we drove like maniacs when we were pissed, we cried and swore we were done… But we were always sorry in the morning. Had we just slept on a lot of arguments, maybe things would be different. You were my best friend and we were supposed to spend the rest of our lives together, figuring each other out. I don’t believe in soul mates, but I know love when I see it. And I don’t just see it with you, I feel it. I want to start over, and get it right this time. No more lies or secrets. No screaming, no hopping out of cars, no more blocked calls, no more ignored messages. I want the kind of love I know you’re capable of, and I want to love you the way you need me to. I want the flowers and love letters, I want the World to know that you love me. I need that, and I realize now that you need a different kind of love. All I know is that it’s not over and until we try everything, I’ll keep looking for you in other people and you’ll still stand outside my window at 3AM asking me to “just talk” to you.

-Jam.

I wanted to leave myself breadcrumbs, in case I ever forgot what home felt like. It seems like no matter how far I run, I end up back where I started. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know if that’s “love”, some will argue that it’s not. But listening to this album…seeing that even the greatest love isn’t anywhere close to perfect…has me second guessing some shit I thought I had figured out. I would hate to be the girl who gave up on love…

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