I never meant to hurt you, to slash and burn you, I never meant for those tears to roll down your cheeks, but now it's happened—what do you want me to do?

I can't apologize enough for you—I've said it all a thousand times, hundreds of different ways. I've begged and pleaded, cajoled and demanded—and it doesn't matter. You don't hear me and I'm tired.

I'm tired of all the strained silences and the glares. I'm tired of all the arguing and your possessiveness. I'm tired of your black-hole angst and need to share all your pain and rage—what about mine? Why don't I get a say?

See, that's the thing—you're more important than me, right? Always have been, always will be. Your feelings matter, we can talk about you. But me? My hurt, my fear, my anger—nope, not important, keep on walking.

And you wonder why I finally snapped? Why I finally told you to fuck off—moron. But, then, that's nothing new: I was always the brains of the relationship.

You are beautiful, I grant you that—on the surface. Beneath the act, though, you're only bitterness and bile and lies. You're just... an image shielding moldy walls and cracks in the paint. How on earth could I ever have loved you?

What did you do, cast a spell? Slip me a love potion?

Damn, I am bitter, huh? And yet... I never wanted to hurt you. Honestly, I didn't. I just... wanted to talk. To let you know how I felt. To explain why I'm leaving you. But you... you opened your mouth and so much streamed forth. Accusations and recriminations and how much you sacrificed for me. Lies. Every bit of it was a lie. Every single syllable to leave your mouth, wrapped in righteous anger, was just another beautiful falsehood, just a slanted angle of the truth.

Do you even know what 'truth' is? Do you? I don't think you do. And don't blame your parents—sure, they raised you, but you're an adult now. You can't run home to them and you can't yell about how it's all their fault, they didn't do their job, all they did was beat and curse you. I've met them. I've eaten with them. I've slept in their house.

I know them. And I know you. Whose side do you think I'll take?

But still... I never wanted you to cry. I never wanted you as broken as you've made me. I never wanted you to fall against the wall and slide down it and lay on the floor, sobbing. I never wanted you to shy away at my touch as I try to comfort you because I slammed you against that wall.

I never did. I swear. Do you believe me? I'm not the liar of this pair. I'm not the one always bending the truth, twisting words to suit my needs. I'm not.

And yet... and yet... here we are. I never wanted this but now it's happened—and what can I do? I can't make this better; I'm not that naïve. I can't wave a magic wand, say some magic words and fix this. It's not fixable, our relationship—too much was said and too much was done, and you have my hand imprinted on your arm. I can't erase all my words, and I don't think I would if I could.

But I am sorry. For how it came out, my voice catching up with and overtaking yours, rising to rafters, shearing away all doubts of my sincerity. My tone, not even attempting to cushion the blow of words years in the making. I'm not sorry for what I said—instead, I regret how I said it.

Instead... damn it, how'd it come to this? How did our shining love, our triumph, devolve into this? You, broken on the floor, and me... my father. Me, what I've always hated.

You stupid bitch, it's all your fault. If you had just listened, had just heard me—and you always refused to, because you're more important, you're better, your problems are greater and your tears are prettier, and the sound of your voice fills you with glee.

And I fell in love with you because you look like my mother. Did I ever tell you that? Would you have heard me if I had? You don't act like her or smell like her or sound like her—but sometimes, out of the corner of my eyes, there she is, staring at me from your gaze. Shaking her head in disappointment, pursing her lips at my failure, I was right and you were wrong and you've amounted to nothing like I always said you would

I love my mother. Really, I do. But I can't stand her. Which, I think, explains in part my attraction to you.

You complain about your parents and how they failed you constantly. You complain about your childhood and your sisters and their dogs. You complain about anything and everything, and couldn't you just shut up and let me talk? Would that have killed you? Five minutes of silence so that I didn't lose my mind?

But still... believe me. I never wanted to hurt you. I am not my father. I'm not. I just... couldn't take it anymore, your sniveling. Your accusations. Goddamn it, is it my fault it rained? Is it my fault that guy cut you off on the interstate? Is it my fault, all of it and any of it? No, it's not. I'm not the Devil and I'm not God. I'm just a guy... trying my best.

And my best clearly was never good enough for you.

Shut up, I'm not done yet. No, don't cower—I won't strike you again, I promise. I promise. And I always keep my promises. I'm not my father or mother, or you—I don't lie. I don't lie. I've never lied.

Except that first time we met and I swore I'd never hurt you.

My intentions were good at the beginning but finally I don't care anymore, and good intentions lead down a dark road.

Please stop crying. I've never liked it when a woman cries. Never, not even you—I am not Dad. I'm not. I swear—shut up!

Would you please stop sobbing and listen to me! It's my turn to talk and you've had your say! You've been speaking for years and I kept quiet but I'm no longer holding my tongue. I'm no longer biting my lip and clenching my jaw to keep the peace.

I'm not pretending anymore that everything is alright when it's not. I'm not faking because I think you'll eventually quit talking and hear me.

I'm done. This is it. I was an idiot to think this'd ever work. I can't stay here anymore, and listen to you moan and groan and bitch about how hard your life is.

You're too much like my mother and me staying here will turn me into my father.

But I think it's too late.