"Because I'm used to games."
Because everything was always a game.
I always had to be two steps ahead and ready
to defend myself against lies and criticism.
Because I always pointed to the door, and gave permission
for him to leave.
Because giving him permission to leave felt much better
than fighting for someone who didn't want to stay.
Because perhaps if I pulled the rug out from under us,
well, then I was the one in control...I wasn't the one being caught off guard.
Because I learned how to be selfish, that's where the control thing came in.
Because being considered selfish was far better than facing the brokenness of trust.
Because the next guy always found a problem.
"Not with you," he would say, because the issue was what appeared to be my lack of morals.
But the thing was that my morals were all I had, so the problem was me.
Because I used the F word one too many times, and because when he met me I was "out of control,"
which was, by the way, completely false but totally flattering in some strange way.
Because holding my hand in church might have been a scandal in the eyes of those who judged him.
Because I didn't want to call us anything, because I didn't know how to move on from the hand that I had held before him.
Because I always knew I would leave -
I could see the stereotype that I could not mold myself into -
I watched the goodness of those around me, and the hearts that they had
and all I could see was the mess I had already made - the "out of control" portion of my life.
I saw my satisfaction with imperfection while he wanted things that weren't tainted...he couldn't possibly understand why I take such comfort in tainted things.
I saw all of the people that he could be with and I wondered why I was the one he chose -
so I quietly showed him the door and he took it without a fight.
Because when I finally did forgive the first there was no one standing on my side,
there wasn't a hand to hold - so I told myself that I would never let someone hold my hand again.
Because I was fine with being fine,
and I knew I wouldn't have to worry about being caught off guard anymore.
I wouldn't have to worry about games and expectations and the eyes of people who
judged my relationship.
Because then you came along and it's the most frightening and wonderful thing.
And that's why I show you the door, and ask why you stay.
Though this time I don't mean it when I tell you to leave, and I don't really care why you stay.
I simply care that you choose to stay. Because staying means everything to me.
Because for the foreseeable future you've made the choice to stay,
and, finally, so have I.