My Not-So Knight in Shining Armor


Not every princess gets her perfect knight in shining armor. (Photo by Sarah Treusch)

Our love was like the perfect rom-com movie. I was the younger girl: straight A’s, a good path to college, an athlete, a goody-goody. You were the older, edgy, bad boy who drove a fiery red Mustang. People write books or movies about that kind of stuff, but you rewrote our happy ending.

I was sick on my birthday. I couldn’t go out, see my friends, or see my family. It was sad. You promised me a re-do birthday. Nobody deserved to cry on their birthday, so we made plans. We were going to go to the mall. Go to Build-A-Bear and have a good time. You were going to put a bandaid on my birthday and heal it with your Midas touch. Seems funny now doesn’t it?

You were warm like a summer smile that day. You hugged me, but my arms were reluctant to your touch. We walked to your car, oh, that Mustang. You opened the door for me. The act was kind, but your harsh words from earlier that week burned me still. You got in the car, buckled your seatbelt and asked me if I was ready to go. I said no. The thought of it churns my stomach. Oh, how I wish I didn’t remember it.

I told you we needed to talk, and tears brewed in my eyes. Getting ready that morning, I knew enough not to wear mascara. For one, I don’t own waterproof mascara. Secondly, I knew I wasn’t going out that day.

You cried. Oh, you cried, and I had never seen you cry. I had hurt you. I knew it. But, I had to do this for myself. The words you said to me had replayed in my head like a cheesy song on the radio. The things you had called me shattered my mental health. You had called me a disappointment, and only three words could have healed the wound you caused.

But, you couldn’t say those three words. Could you? Sure, I couldn’t have said them back, but they were the only thing that could get me to stay in that car, go to the mall and have the magical day we had planned. Wouldn’t it be different now?

You hadn’t seen it coming, but I had. Maybe it hurt you an ounce of how much you hurt me. With one conversation, the warm boy I once knew, my best friend, turned cold like a winter’s kiss.

Would your mom have been proud of the way you constricted me? You were the boa that told me what to wear, what to do and how to act. Would your sister have been proud of the way you spoke to me when you were angry? I walked on eggshells around you. One wrong move and you would explode.

In your car, in my driveway, that Saturday morning, you told me, “I thought we had something going here.” You gave me flowers every time you picked me up, but you tore me down. We were the perfect romance book, so it seemed. The rom-com of all the hopeless romantic’s dreams. We were supposed to have our happy ending.

But, I guess those only happen in books and movies, right?