He said he might want to come back, but wasn't sure.
He said he didn't think he would hurt me again, but couldn't promise that he wouldn't.
He said it was perfect right now, and I buried my head in that familiar spot on his shoulder and nodded. For that moment on my couch, both of us slightly tipsy on cheap Chianti and possibility, with no one else-- no friends rolling their eyes, no parents drawing deep breaths, no expectations beyond the night, beyond the moment-- yes, it was perfect.
And when I hand you my heart, would you like the silver platter to be plain or filigreed?
If only it could have started now. If only he hadn't already broken my heart once, I might give it to him. If only I hadn't spent the last year telling everyone how much I hated his guts while watching him be happy with other girls. If only it could just be him and me then maybe it could be something.
Maybe it even could have been Something. You know, That Thing. That Thing that twenty-something girls in urban centers don't talk about because we're supposed to be chill and fun and enjoy being slightly slutty and watching football and not get all commitment-crazy because, like, ew, commitment. We're not, like, old.
I don't know if it was that, or could have been. But I can't think about what could be when there's already too much what was.
I told him it wasn't going to happen. That I couldn't be sure of him and I couldn't make the leap. When I talked to X about it, she tooted "Never trust a dumper!" Blunt, but good advice nonetheless.
It's miserable to turn down something that makes me happy now because there is a chance that it will hurt me in the future. At this age, I'm not supposed to be so cautious and thinking about the future. And if it was anyone else making me feel this way, I'd be over the moon and annoying everyone I came across with bragging about how happy I was.
Maybe if he'd said "I promise not to mess it up this time" Maybe if he'd made declarative statements for once, if he'd said "this is what I want" instead of mumbling "I don't knoooow." To be fair, I didn't know either. But his not knowing told me all I needed to know.
If he'd asked, maybe. But suggesting... suggesting is not enough. I only get one of these heart things in a lifetime, and in the end, I'm the only one around to protect it.