When I met Tori, I didn’t know anything about her, except she was absolutely stunning… Ten years my junior, my gut insisted there would be a disconnect, but early conversations drew me deeply into her. I was her Icarus, and she was my sun. She was appealing, but in mind, if I got too close, she’d definitely burn my wings, and I’d be tortured as I tumbled down.
She was too fine for me. My God, her caramel colored coated exterior, those big doe eyes, and her precious pink pout, combined with her slender shape had me totally enamored. This girl could do no wrong in my eyes. She had goals of greatness, and I was going to make sure she was everything she aspired to be. In a way, her youth and optimistic outlook inspired me.
Deeper than the ocean, she shared the tumultuous tales of her innocence being stolen away from her at an early age and the horrors of the heartaches she endured that were everlasting. Assigned by God to an unfocused mother who wasn’t sure who her father was, she was often left unattended as men three times her age gratified themselves with her most precious gift. She’d been sexually abused as a child, and her mother’s instability forced her into a life of foster homes that were often unforgiving.
Her ability to overcome life’s obstacles was beyond admirable. Her story stirred up something in my soul. From the ashes of adversity she rose. Standing strong, she was picking up the pieces of the broken life she’d left behind. She was my phoenix, but was she the fire? Of course not. She was perfect. She couldn’t hurt a fly. She knew what destruction felt like, so she vowed never to be the destroyer.
Because of her past, she longed for love, and it was her craving for companionship that coaxed her from one abusive relationship to another. She was relieved that with me, the cycle seemed to have ended. My love was pure and her soul could sense it.
I began to breathe in more than her beauty. This girl needed to know what love felt like, and I was going to be the one to give it to her. I needed to be the one who gave her all the love her heart could handle. Loving her would be easy, not just because she was beautiful, but because she could handle the horrors of life and still stand, longing to fill the void with an everlasting love.
“What I didn’t realize was damaged people don’t always want to be repaired.”
Countless conversations that we’d endure for hours went from compliments to complacency as her topics shifted from soulful to sorted. Our exchanges evolved from endless excitement to abrupt endings for the evening without warning.
Her pattern changed.
I was often left sleepless, wondering who was she sharing her time with? Surely there was someone waiting in the wind ready to wisk her away. With 13 hours between us, I would never really know for sure. I had no proof, all I had was my gut feeling and a handful of questions that could possibly lead to heartache.
I tried to ignore the warning signs and assumed that she was simply going through something, and I still wanted to save her. What I didn’t realize was damaged people don’t always want to be repaired. She’d acknowledged her damage, but she’d become comfortable in the chaos and found a way to make her personal hell feel like home.
I couldn’t put my finger on it, something was off. I’d often confront her with her constant contradictions, and she’d become annoyed by my attentiveness and label me insecure. Loving her through her storm was drowning me in the floods left behind, and somehow, I lost control in the current and needed a lifejacket to save me from an emotional apocalypse.
My savior came in the name of Instagram and threw me a lifeline against the lies. I saw a comment under her picture that led me to another girl’s page. Immediately, I recognized the comforter this girl was wrapped in in this seemingly harmless selfie. Devastated, I scrolled… One pic at a time revealed a name and a face to the woman she’d now entangled in her web of deceit. This new girl was gorgeous. Far more beautiful than I, she flossed her flawless femininity, stacking up to the standard of beauty sold through the pages of social media. I understood Tori’s attraction, so I needed to let her go.
I was hurt at first. Once I realized that I had accomplished more prior to our interactions, I immediately felt relieved. I could finally have closure, as the unknown taunted me through the night, I found peace in what I’ve found. What she deemed as insecurity revealed itself as instinct, and I could finally breathe again.
Just like that, I knew that I was free from the addiction that had claimed my heart. She had become a part of my daily routine, and that’s what I was missing the most. I didn’t dwell on the time I’d wasted with her, I could freely move on without looking back. I didn’t have to wonder what was going on anymore. My answers were right there, and so was the reality of my purpose in her life. I was truly there for a season, and once signs of my season ended, I had to either let go and live or hold on and hurt.
Immediately freeing myself from her was the best thing I could have done for myself. I didn’t make the mistake of hanging on long after my season ended. I’d made that mistake too many times in the past. Holding on would only hurt more than letting go, so letting go had to happen. Finally, I was in complete control.
…Until a month later, she started calling again…. And just like Icarus, I flew back to toward the sun.