The Other Woman

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“I am afraid to show you who I really am, because if I show you who I really am, you might not like it–and that’s all I got.” ― Sabrina Ward Harrison

As I sat down on the floor with a big grin on my face, he stood up, reached his hand above the wardrobe and pulled out a box.

“It’s filled with all the little things my friends have given me since school,” he said proudly, with a glimmer of nostalgia in his eyes.

I loved everything about gifts and memories, so I took the box into my own hands and began sifting through it.

Trinkets, I would call them. Whoever said only women kept little things!? Inside was a kaliedoscope of curios. Frienship bands, a tiny book with quotes about love, a scrapbook filled with photographs (as scrapbooks tend to be), keyrings, sketches.

He said friends, but it was mostly all from her, his first love.

“It’s beautiful that you keep all the little things,” I said out loud, ignoring the lump in my throat and trying really hard to stretch the corners of my lips into a smile.

I will fill that box up with my love, I thought. So much that hers won’t even be seen amidst all of it.

Over the next six months of our short-lived relationship, I took it upon myself to ensure that I did indeed fill up that box with my love.

Books, 20-page-letters, photographs, little notes of love, memories from places we visited together, drawings of those memories. My gifts were dowsed in genuine affection and drizzled with a vying to erase her.

Did I succeed?

Well, we parted ways less than cordially after a while. As for her, she remains his dear friend till date. So I am gonna say no, I did not succeed, not in what I set out to accomplish anyway.

But I would like to think that I did grow a little wiser from the experience.

M. G. T. P.

Sometimes it feels like that’s all you are. Another name, another initial, just another person like the so many who came before you and the many who may be there after you. How do you make a mark? How do you leave a mark? How did these other women manage to do what I never seemed to be able to?

The truth, I accepted begrudgingly, was that I would never in a million years be able to completely be certain of who ‘the other woman’ was. It may be the ex, or the one that got away, or it may just be the friend who I never suspected. Maybe there wouldn’t even be another woman, if I was lucky enough this time.

So it really began to look pointless to worry myself sick about that one person who I decided was better than me for my man for some odd reason that I couldn’t even figure out. Where was the trust in this to begin with? Why was I with someone who I thought there could be someone better for?

Several years later, I looked at another boyfriend’s list of ex lovers and loves and heaved a fatigued sigh. This time I decided that I didn’t wanna compete.
This time, I decided to be enough.

Now let me tell you, being enough has not been easy. While there are days you wake up and gloriously look out of the window as the sunshine wraps itself around your skin and whispers “You are so enough” in your ears, that’s not what most days look like.

Most days, you fight hard to shove the thought of her away like she doesn’t exist. You strike your sword against the green monster by repeatedly saying it like you mean it. I am enough.

Somewhere along the battle you begin to understand that you must be enough because you are all you can be. And if that isn’t enough for someone, then you probably never will be. And there isn’t a damn thing in the universe you can do about that. Your call was never to fix the love between yourself and another, it was only to fix the parts of yourself that couldn’t love all of you, green monster and err’thang.

And suddenly, you go back within and realize that you need to hold the part of your being that you keep dehumanizing. You pick it up and hold it gently. You look at it for the first time and see it look back at you like a child you had orphaned. And you realize how much more complete your self feels accepting her back. And the sunshine warms you from within and whispers into your heart “You are so enough.”

He mentioned her the other day, well, in a round-about sort of way.

I wondered what it was about their chemistry that made them click right from the beginning.

I told him that I loved him.

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