I knew it’s going to hurt. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I knew he would need more love than anyone I had met before. But I never knew that loving a broken man would be something that ended up breaking me. I never knew that falling for a broken man would be the mistake of my life.

He had this idea of what man should be, while I loved him the way he was. I loved the effort he was putting in becoming the better version of himself. I loved the way he would stutter when I talked about loving him. I never asked him to say it back. I never asked him to do anything that he wasn’t okay with doing.

I never asked him to break me, but well… it still happened.

You see, that idea of becoming the better version of him started eating him up from inside. He was ashamed that he was broken, so he ran away from it. He tried to hide from it, but you can’t hide from your past or who you are. You can’t hide from all those memories and pain you’re carrying inside you.

But he thought he could.

He tried so hard to be that type of man everyone looks at and just stares. That type of man that makes everyone laugh and the weight of the whole world seemed like a feather to that man. He wanted to be someone who is not easily bothered, someone with no emotions. So, he shut them out.

He shut me out. But still kept me around.

I don’t know what I thought at the moment. There were days where it seemed like he was the man I fell in love with. There were days when he was ready to accept his past and move on to the future with me. There were days when he wanted to get better, so he talked to me. He would talk to me for hours, holding nothing back.

But soon, hours turned into minutes. Until there was nothing left but silence.

Silence in the kitchen, silence over dinner. Silence in the bedroom. And silence in his heart.

But my mind, my heart… A cacophony of all those screams I let out in silence, frustrated from giving everything I had and getting nothing but silence. Frustrated from always being his last choice, while he was my priority. Frustrated from all the nights we spent travelling through his past, just so he could turn his back on it all.

The sounds were so deafening and the distance between us physically hurt. I could feel the pain in my chest, hoping that it was the stroke that would end it all. But I knew it wasn’t. I knew it was my heart, my whole being breaking with every time he would turn his back on me. Breaking with every dinner we spent in silence. Breaking with every excuse he made up about being a better man now.

About being a man that would finally make me happy. Not the kind of man that would embarrass me ever again for being too cheesy; too stupid to deal with his past.

Nothing I said, nothing I did could’ve stopped him from going on that path of destruction. Nothing.

He became that better man—at least the man he believed was the better version of himself. He no longer felt, so he no longer cared. He didn’t care about discussing his or mine problems. ‘Man up’ he said.

But since when does ‘manning up’ means that you’re no longer loyal? Since when does being a man means that you will charm the panties off of every goddamn woman that crosses your path? Since when does being a man mean that you’re going to shut off your emotions and replace them with everyone else’s?

Since when does being a man mean becoming an emotional leech?

Since when does being a man mean breaking people who care about you?

You see, my man… The love of my life and every other cliché you want to use here, was broken once a long time ago. He never found a way to deal with it, but the thing is, he never wanted to find it in the first place.

I made him look back. I made him relive all those memories again, so he did the same to me. He did to me what his past did to him. He took my trust and played it, took my love and turned it against me. Took me, my heart, my everything and broke it.

Falling for a broken man was a mistake. But loving him wholeheartedly was the screw up of my life. Just because people stop loving you doesn’t mean that you stop loving them as well. And now, the love I still feel for him is mixing up with hate and pain, all behind these goddamn walls he showed me how to build. And I don’t know how to let them out. I don’t know how to tumble them down.