I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, naïve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me.
Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again.
I loved you.
I raged for you.
I wept for you.
And now, I’m letting you go.
Author’s Note: Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.
None of them truly know me.
Because the truth is, there’s nothing more frightening in my world than those who know you—who really know you. The ones who know your deepest, darkest secrets. The ones who know what you’re going to do before you do it. The ones who know not only what buttons to push when they seek your attention, but also the ones that can be used to completely incapacitate you.
They can be your strength.
But they can also be your weakness.
And just as a chameleon changes color to blend for protection, I’ve learned to evolve into the person I need to be in order to survive the situation at hand, all while keeping people at arm’s length.
Yet sometimes I can’t help but wonder what my true colors would have been had I not been subjected to this life. I question what it would be like to just let someone in, to tell them all of your unforgivable truths and discover they still love you in return.
I find myself utterly fascinated, awe-struck even, that there are people actually capable of truly loving someone without wondering when and how they will be betrayed. However, the knowledge of their existence also saddens me because the cold reality is I will never know that type of love. I will never know the freedom to just be with someone, without pretense or fabrication, without the endless lies and untruths.
Maybe that’s why I keep holding onto Spencer when I know I shouldn’t. When all my instincts scream for me to let her go, to cut those ties and just let her be.
I’m too selfish.
L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and
holds a degree in Biomedical Science.
She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years. She lives with her husband and three
daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.