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I’m always the one doing the cutting off. I don’t know why, exactly. I’m not necessarily the type. I’m a pretty likeable person, they say. Unless no one tells the truth around here. I love to have fun, love to love–sometimes too much. But I tend to see my weaknessess and hesitate to step in too far where I’ll falter. That’s where I find myself cutting off. You’d say I cut you off, right?  Or, tried.  It was the way I thought things should go.

I try to be clear. I use my words. I remember to never make promises, because that’s not fair. I sit at kitchen tables, in parked cars on the street, on the steps of some church down the street from your place, all to explain why I think this way will be better. You fight it, you don’t hear me, only I understand.

Memories and loneliness make me turn the choice over and over, make me make sure it’s right, in the months that follow. We write letters because I said we could. I frown when you call. And when you send messages meant to make me laugh. You are breaking the rules we made, but really only I made them. I’m the one cutting off because only I understand.

Your words are as clear as these months are long. You’re stuck on me, which is not good.  So to be clearer still, I tell you about the man I fell in love with years ago. Whose salvation I involuntarily wait on. Not because it has anything to do with you and me, but because the way I wait on him is the way you’re waiting on me. And I can’t figure who’s the bigger fool. You don’t see what I’m saying, but you see something else. Something more. Because you love me, you see the way I’m stuck on this stubborn man and you see how it’s crushing me. In the end, because of it all, you cut me off.

I’ve never been cut off before. Not really. Not unless I was the one building the wall between us. I’m stunned at your finality. I will not expect a letter from you, you say. I do not think it’s a good idea to see you–and you underline do not. The ball’s in my court, you tell me, but only if I want to love you. And I can’t make myself love you.

The stiff arm you give me is bold and sure. You’ve not spoken to me with such confidence before. With such assurance. With such leadership. When I asked you for leadership–and I asked you for leadership–you never gave me this. But I ask you not to wait on me, and you give me a man of God that I could fall for. The distance of being cut off feels so isolated. And isolation is not a feeling with which I am well-acquainted.