I haven't been entirely honest with you.
If you've been around for long enough, you'll be aware of two significant relationships that have been crucial in the development of my current batch of neuroses. But between Idiot and Stretch, there was someone equally as significant.
So significant, in fact, that I haven't been able to talk about him until now.
Of all the boys I have ever loved and lost, he is the one that I often think about seeking out again. Not to reconcile, as such, but to apologise. Because I owe him an apology. And a lot more than that.
For several months, I allowed him to think that there was a chance for us. I always knew that there wasn't.
Desperate for some kind of relief from the aftermath of my relationship with Idiot, I would alternate between spending every waking hour speaking to this boy and inexplicably declaring that I never wanted to see him again.
I was addicted to the reaction I provoked.
When I was making him believe that I loved him, I even started to believe it myself. I would spend hours on the phone with him, listening to his stories and soothing his anxieties. I'd lie in his arms and trace the scars on his arms, promising that I'd never let him do anything like that again. I'd go out of my way to be the person I knew he deserved.
Sooner or later, I always grew bored of his unwavering affection and adoration. There were arguments, of course, but I don't recall him ever starting them or even participating in them particularly forcefully. A good quality, you might have thought. And yet I craved the drama of my previous relationship. I missed the fighting, the shouting, the making up.
So I'd leave. Usually for a reason I imagined or withheld.
I'd go offline, ignore his texts, find someone else.
But I always went back.
During my longest disappearance, unbeknownst to me, his anxiety became so severe that he had to leave work for a while. He spent his days writing songs about me, getting some of them onto compilation albums in the hope that I'd hear them and come back sooner. He rang a radio station once, so I hear, and got his song played there. He never stopped texting or emailing. The hope that I might come back was all-consuming, and it broke him.
Had he not crashed his car in a fit of desperation, I might have carried on for longer.
Last night, in a late-night conversation, I was reminded of the boy I've never mentioned, of how I almost destroyed him, because I have found myself in a similar situation once again.
So today I cut off all contact with the boy I've been stringing along. And I'm not going back.