Delete his number.
Stop ringing him. Stop messaging him. Stop making excuses to see him, to drop by his place.
Erase his name from memory. Remove yourself from his life, more completely than you would like but as completely as he deserves. Move on, so that you can allow him to also move on. When you close your eyes, you don’t get to see his face. Not anymore. You don’t get to think about his lips, the warm glow of his skin when he rests next to you, or how he squeezes your hand in his sleep. You are not allowed to remember the smell of his cologne, that he only drinks mint tea (with two dollops of honey), or that he loves you.
He loves you.
She has been in love with you for too long.
So, forget how he says your name. Forget how he calls your name. Forget how he screams your name. Forget that time you got sick and he stayed up with you all night, letting you lay your head in his lap and holding a cold compress to your forehead. Forget how his hair feels in your fingers. Forget how he looks in your sweatshirts.
Know only that he existed at one point in your life, but relinquish all hope that he could exist at another point — sometime in the future that you are unwilling to specify because you don’t know what you want. Yet. It is not fair for you to swoop in and out of his life as you choose. It is not fair for you to say that you are satisfied with “things as they are” and you will have time to “figure it out” later. Let him stop investing emotionally in you. Let him pour that love and care into the people who deserve him.
Don’t tell him that you think about him all the time. Don’t tell him that it bothers you to hear about him with other people, but that you’re willing to understand as long as he likes you more than them. Don’t tell him that this isn’t the right moment but that there will be a right moment. There is not going to be a right moment. He shouldn’t have to wait for the right moment.
Don’t tell him that you can’t handle ultimatums, that you don’t like the idea of finally adding finality to your relationship — whatever still remains of it.
What you are telling him is that you want to keep him on as an option, that you are taking him for granted, that you want to know he will be there, that you can depend on him at the end of the day. When you find that no one else has stuck around or that those who have are less interesting, less thoughtful, or less doggedly loyal to you.
Doggedly loyal to you.
That is what he has been to you, for you almost as long as you have known him: a constant emotional crutch, the guarantee of stability, a safety net while you reach out to grasp objects that sparkle and shine far greater than he does. All that glitters is not gold, haven’t you heard?
He is fire. You are ice, and you are afraid that his slow burn will smolder your cool, hard demeanor. That’s what has driven your decisions, your actions all along: fear. You are a coward. You are a hypocrite. You are terrified to let him go, but you are afraid he is too good for you, that he could drive you wild, that you would choke on his flames. That he is too much for you to handle right now.
But if you choose not to love him now, you can’t choose to love him later.