To My Boyfriend's Ex-Girlfriend

I was envious of you.
by Serena Santamaria
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You became everything I wanted to be. You’re pretty and really smart and creative. You’re adventurous, too. I know this because I’ve wasted so much time going through your blog and your Twitter profile.

The thing is, I was envious of you. I knew of you because of Chris. How he talked about you. The day Chris and I got together—two months after you guys broke off your four-year relationship—he told me he wanted to still be close to you.

He said to me, “I still want to have Kat in my life, because she made me feel at home,” and my heart broke at once. I felt cold—so cold I could’ve passed for dead.

Immediately, that set the tone of my relationship with Chris. I always felt your presence; I hated how he said “Kat,” as if you and I were acquainted or close. I felt that I had to be you so I could stop feeling you there, so that he’d finally love me. But I failed; I wasn’t even close to being you. And he was no closer to getting over you.

You’re probably wondering why Chris didn’t just dump me and get back together with you, considering he was the one who left you. I don’t know why either, but I have a guess. He had told me before that your relationship wasn’t working for months already, and that time we were chatting and hanging out a lot. I’m not a third party, just so you know.

But I have a feeling what stirred him to finally break up with you was that he was beginning to feel things for me. Only to realize later on that it was a mistake—breaking up with you was a mistake; I was a mistake, and it was you all along.

Naturally, I was jealous of you. You meant so much to him that he spent his birthday with you instead of with me. He still saw you behind my back, no matter how much it hurt me. I felt powerless. No amount of confrontation and crying on my part changed how he felt about you.

I felt like I was at the wrong place, that it should be you here with him. I wanted to be sorry. Sometimes it seemed to me that I broke you two apart, and that filled me with shame—even if I knew he alone chose to end things with you. I rooted for you guys, you know. You guys looked good together in person and in the photos I unearthed from your blog archives. In spite of all that, of course I wanted to feel like I was at the right place. I wanted Chris to feel at home with me, too.

I no longer have ill feelings for you. I’ve grown tired of trying to be you and failing.

My jealousy and bitterness were poisoning me from the inside. I just have admiration for you as a person, because you really seem awesome. As for me, well, I have an idea of the kind of person I am. It took a while for Chris to finally see me—just me—but I’m glad that’s already happened. It took the risk of losing me for him to fight for me. Maybe that made him realize it was me, not you—I know, that makes him sound so fickle. Let’s admit it: he was.

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You might find it weird if I just thanked you for something, since you don’t even really know me. But let me thank you still. Your presence in the relationship was bad, but it made me want to be a better person—to be kind and gentle (like you) but now on my own terms. It wasn’t exactly healthy, but hey, I’m okay now. Not to mention, I’m glad you’re finally out of the picture.

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