You always felt you were too much for him, with your spirited heart and vibrant laugh, your reflective mind and unabashed emotion.
Him, who liked to keep things simple, uncomplicated. Nothing serious, nothing deep, nothing complex. Nothing that would make him think or feel.
Scared to frighten him away, you did what you always do.
You made yourself less.
Piece by piece, you tore off the parts of you that you thought would be more than he could handle. You lay them out thinly between pages of the tattered book you keep—the one that hides all the parts of yourself you’ve been afraid to show the world.
You made yourself more manageable, more palatable, easier to handle. Because if this is what it would take for him to accept you, want you, maybe one day even love you, then you would do it. It would be worth it, for him.
For a long time you pretended you were happy. Maybe sometimes you even thought you were. But sometimes those torn-off parts called out to you, and your body ached to have them back, to be complete again. No, you told them. You are too much, you’ll only frighten him away, as you pressed the pages together once more.
You tried to convince yourself you could survive this way, as a silhouette—no substance, no soul. But you were empty, hollow, wasted away. Weightless, you struggled to hold yourself up any longer. You needed those parts of yourself back, the ones that held you together, the ones that made you whole.
And so, one piece at a time, you began to restore yourself. Slowly, quietly. Maybe he wouldn’t notice. Or maybe if he did, he would somehow learn to love those extra parts of you anyway.