the place holder
Did you ever really have a chance? Really truly ever have a chance at being happy? At being happy with her, as much as you wanted to be? You had always been told that opposites attract, and for a long time you believed it. She was there when you needed her, and you started to fall for her. You worried though, you over thought things. She was spontaneous and loved huge romantic gestures, where those made you feel uncomfortable and pressured. You're not a poetic soul. You're not waxing poetic and shaping words into a beautiful masterpiece that make people swoon and collectively roll their eyes at the same time. You're not quick to answer things, you prefer to let things sit for a day and then fully attack the situation. You're a scientist, you're not an artist. There were red flags, of course, but you wanted to believe that she was different. And for a while, she was different. She was better than everyone else, and you kept talking to her above others, because she was interesting. She listened to you, you listened to her, and she made you feel safe. She made you feel happy. So of course you fell for her. It was only a given.

You've never had luck with women. Or luck with anyone, your own insecurities and issues would be a therapist's dream, and you know this. Hell, you're in the market for a new therapist after everything, but you're not so sure you're willing to open up and trust anyone new. You try to tell the people that you fall for that they'd be better off, because you worry what you'd do to them if they were actually in a relationship with you. You do, after all, have the ability to ruin everything at a moments notice, due to either working too much, or trying to be spontaneous and ruining things. Like that night at her studio. Where you kissed her because you were in the moment and thought it was what she wanted, but she backed away. It was the beginning on the end. Then there was the fire and the fighting, the things you don't fully remember but you remember her face. Her face, wrapped around in fire, almost killing you, and then nothing else. So it makes sense, that you flinch a bit when you think of her, because you remember the fire. You remember the pain. You're still not fully healed, but you don't want to remember this.

Trying to make things work haven't always been your strong suit, but you're trying. Or, you were. But hearing that she had been dating someone else casually while she waited for you to get your life together hits you wrong. That she was always just going to have someone waiting in the wings to take her away, because you're not fast enough. You're not spontaneous enough. She pulls your strings, and you feel awful for not doing larger romantic gestures, for not running back into her studio and kissing her again. You tell her that you regret those things, kissing her, because it makes her mad at you and it makes it easier (you think). And another argument leads to another one, but you're certain that she understands that you want her, that you like her, but that you need time. Because you can't just wipe away everything that happened. You can't just wipe away the fire and the hurt, and the reaction that it brings.

But it doesn't matter, because suddenly, out of the blue, she's dating someone new. And you never had a chance to redeem yourself, you never had a chance to prove that you could be better, if given a little time to heal. You had a feeling, of course, because she seemed a lot happier and distant and you know the signs. That's when someone has found someone else to spend their time with, to push you aside, because you've fulfilled your role of the distraction while they're on the look for something better. Because you couldn't make up your mind fast enough, you couldn't react fast enough, it doesn't matter if you felt love for her or not (you did), you're not good enough. That's what hurts the most. That's what you don't tell her, that you will never tell her.

You're angry, you're pissed off, you're upset. You feel lead on, you feel used. You feel all the things you were warned about but ignored, because you wanted to believe she was different. That she wasn't like the rest. But she was and she is. Maybe she ended up being worse that the rest, and that's the part that hurts the most. If only you were spontaneous! If only you did grand romantic gestures! If only you told her how you really felt.. You're nothing but "if"s now.

You trusted, you wanted, you loved, and you failed because of it. You curse her out, you scream at her, you say some things you mean and some things you don't but it doesn't matter, because she already has her new boyfriend who can paint her a beautiful picture and you have never been anything other than darkness. You deserve this, you tell yourself after you've had time to think. As with every other one, as with all the awful things that happen in your life, you deserve this. The pain, the anger, the hurt, the did something to deserve this. You did something to her to deserve this, but you don't know what it was. It doesn't matter now.

You're the place holder, as you always have been, as you always will be. You tell yourself that you must have never really meant anything to her if she manages to move on so quickly, in hours, in days. You tell yourself this over and over as you take another drink. There was always going to be someone better than you. Because there always is.

Because you're the place holder, and you are nothing.