Today I woke with your name upon my tongue, bitter, like the dregs of whisky that burned my throat last night as I drank to the sound of sad movies and faded dreams.
Bitter, like the taste of poison in my veins.
Once, you were the tender kiss of morning coffee upon my lips, the gentle warmth of the sun as it streamed through worn blinds and washed over our bones; our limbs tangled in the bed we used to share.
Now there is only the imprint of your memory, laid to rest in the cold grave next to me where you belong no more.
Yet still you remain, trapped inside my heart where the acidity of all we became seeps into my bloodstream and contaminates my flesh, my organs, my soul.
Yet still you remain, trapped inside the walls of my unforgiveness where I have refused to set you free. Where I have imprisoned you to my hatred, to make you suffer the wrath of my anger the way I had to suffer yours.
Except, the only person who suffers, is me.
I step outside, barefoot, and feel the cool of grass between my toes. The air is fresh, pure, and I breathe it into my lungs, ache for it to cleanse the remnants of you that reside within my core.
No longer do I wish to keep you here, inside my heart, where you corrode my veins. No longer do I wish to keep you here, where I am shackled to pain, where I am captive to misery with every breath I take.
I gaze at the horizon where city meets sky and in this moment I know.
There is nothing to do but forgive you.
There is no weakness in forgiving you, it is not an ill-fought surrender.
It is bravery, it is strength. It is release, liberation; freedom.
It is an act of love.
Not only in setting you free.
But in setting myself free.
Because in forgiving you, I forgive me.
I forgive the girl who needed to be loved, whatever the cost, no matter how much it hurt. Who didn’t understand back then how much she was worth and all that she deserved. Who settled for less, settled for abuse, turned the other cheek, all in the name of love.
I forgive the girl who made mistakes, who made wrong choices, who hurt other people because of how much she was hurting. I forgive her that she stayed, when she should have walked away. I forgive her vulnerability, her weakness, her desperate need for acceptance. I forgive her that she didn’t know how to fight for her heart back then.
But now she does.
Three simple words.
I forgive you.
No longer will I continue to hurt you for the way you hurt me.
But more importantly, no longer will I continue to hurt myself.
I step back inside, get dressed, and make myself some coffee. The day stretches out before me like any other.
Nothing has changed, except, everything has.
Finally, I am free.
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