He said, “If my legacy is to throw myself in the path of a bullet to save your life, then so be it.”
So I demolished the wall I had built and undertook the tedious task of building bridges. I kept a keen eye on the weak links that connected us, taking extra care that they do not break. Only for him to burn the bridges. Only for him to cut the links.
“But why would you do that?” I was downcast.
“Come on here. Look me in the eye. You misunderstood me.”
“I thought you said you would take a bullet for me! You clearly don’t give a hoot about me. Your actions prove that.”
He sighed and took a deep breath. “I care about…”
“No, you don’t!” I cut him off fiercely.
“What if I told you that burning the bridges that you are struggling to build goes to show that I really care about you? That slashing the links that once connected us shows I have nothing but the purest of intentions? Because boo, I don’t want to string you along.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I care about you when I choose not to pretend that I care about you in that special way. That would be taking your heart and tossing it in the mud. I don’t want to lead you on, only for you to be disappointed in the end. Your heart is too precious. That’s the bullet I chose to take, being brave enough to hurt your feelings now and hence protecting you from much greater pain in the future. Believe it or not, I have saved your life.”
And then it dawned on me:
It is better to be flat-out rejected than to be strung along.