She loved cats, coffee, books, and me. She chased after self-destruction, but she never realized that the romance of it came from the beauty of (r)evolution. She was my labyrinth, I lost myself in her. Things were going well unless they weren’t. We were volatile. I don’t know when things started taking a turn for the worse. Looking back, I only remember particular incidents that summed together something awful, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Neither I nor she knows exactly what happened. I re-read the old letters we exchanged and I still don’t know. I guess it snowballed over the years. We were friends at fourteen, confidants at fifteen, lovers at sixteen, liars at seventeen, strangers at eighteen. So it goes.

Everything was a cycle: cycles of better, of worse, of truth, of lies, of running away from, of running headfirst. Everything became a game, a manipulative and jealous game of I don’t even know what but you knew when you were winning. She hated that I read her like a book and then wrote the next chapter before she did. I hated the predictability.

Each time we hit the bottom of the cycle, I cared less. I suppose that’s desensitization. I remember her counting the cuts to me, I remember genuinely believing that she was about to kill herself, but it comes to the point when apathy swallows empathy. She was a broken record of anxiety and irrationality; I stopped listening, stopped caring.

She loved me, I led her on, she claimed not to care. It was a half & half of love & lust that we mixed it in with our coffees and drank down in gulps.

We leave for university and she says to me, “You’re the reason I’m leaving and the reason I’ll come back”. She knew that, at that point, I just wanted her out of my life (read as: I wanted someone with six months to live to get out of my life) and to forget everything that ever happened. She told me that I’d made her life absolute shit when she would’ve done anything for me, that I taught her to hate herself, and that she was moving across the country (literally) to get away from me – yet holds the hope that I’d realize a love I didn’t feel and ask her to come back. We both knew she wasn’t coming back.

When we finally had the last conversation of saying things that were never said and sending the letters that were never sent, I realized how much I’d fucked up.