I loved her. I still love her. As much as it hurts sometimes, I still think of her, and I’ve cried myself to sleep a few nights because of such thoughts. Wondering where I went wrong, what I could have done differently, and if I’ll ever have another chance.

Or if I was ever worth the first one.

Love is a powerful thing, I’ve learned. Its greatest power comes from being strong enough to make you forget. That’s what happened to me. I got so wrapped up in the emotional high, in the dreams of what may come, that I forgot who I was. What I was. I ignored my glaring flaws because I was talking to someone who saw past them, but they were still there. They never truly went away.

Eventually, that haze faded. I saw that I had yet to move forward, that two years had brought me no closer to a solution for the problems plaguing my life. I reached the point where I realized I was adding nothing positive to the relationship. No matter how much she said otherwise, I couldn’t help but feel that I was dragging her down. A partner is supposed to be an anchor, but the kind that keeps you from drifting away, not the one that pulls you into the abyss.

I’ve been playing Sunless Sea lately. It’s a great game, perfect in its atmosphere and worldbuilding, but one part leaves me troubled. The sun-kissed island of Aestival, with its port called Lesley’s Harbour, hits me like a punch to the gut every time it comes into view. Sure, the name’s spelled differently, but it’s close enough. And it’s fitting, because she really was the single ray of sunlight brightening my darkness.

I know I’m broken. I know I turned away from the one who had the best chance of putting me back together, or at least filling my broken spaces, joining with me to make something greater.

Why would I run from that? I don’t know. Maybe part of me doesn’t truly want to be healed. Maybe I’ve been broken for so long that I can’t imagine myself any other way. It could be that I don’t consider myself worthy of that sort of salvation; after all, what have I ever done to deserve it? Or it’s nothing more than the realization that I tried too hard, that I made promises I couldn’t keep, and the hurt I caused hurt me in turn.

That light feels warm on your face, but you have to be careful. It might just blind you.

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