I always knew we'd get back together.

I couldn't believe your cruelty in saying those words. Months after we'd broken up, you had never apologized for your inconstancy toward me, your utter disregard for my feelings, your irrational and erratic behavior, your self-absorption. I loved you, I knew you were ill, I knew you needed medicine and couldn't cope with life otherwise, and so I stayed.

I stayed to take care of you and because you needed me. I sacrificed my mother's trust in me; I lied to her constantly about where I was, told her I was at university when really, I'd spend the day lying in bed with you, stroking your forehead so you knew I was there and I cared. I'd whisper how proud I was of you for going through the difficulties of the bipolarity coming through whilst you were going through withdrawal from the drugs. I sacrificed my grades in school-- prior to those four months, I had never gotten a C in my life. I was mostly an A student, and I was floundering in a literature course, what had previously come so easily to me. The week before finals, I knew I had to go to class, and you agreed.

Despite that, you still called to scream at me about your distorted version of reality. I never once called you a name, never once told you that you were worthless, never once called you a piece of shit, never once was careless in what I said. You altered reality to victimize yourself, and it tore me apart that you'd think so negatively of me. You knew I was incapable of hurting anyone or anything, so why would you think so lowly? All the while, I battled severe depression and you never noticed. You never cared. I couldn't tell my mother-- she had been estranged by my wholehearted reliance on you and her fear that you were playing me.

I lost fifteen pounds, an unhealthy fifteen pounds, because I was too stressed to eat or sleep-- and weight was always a competition to you. It never helped that you rarely ate yourself, and I'd try to coax you to be healthy, but all my caring went the opposite way. Instead, you talked lightheartedly about anorexia and how I was pretty, but "imagine how hot" I would be if I "got skinny." Before that, I could fit easily into a size four and on good days, a size two. The lower end of two became my norm.

Mommy was right-- you were an utter sociopath.

You told me you loved me, that you loved me because you couldn't pull the same bullshit with me that you could on other people, but about a month into the serious phase, I realized that was a lie, too. I knew every time you lied, and never said a word-- hoping, perhaps, you'd realize that I wasn't as oblivious as I let on. I stayed because I loved you; you challenged me and I wanted to save you.

You told me I was your soul mate, the person that was perfect for you. I wanted to believe it, wanted to believe that you wanted to marry me one day, but some part of me knew it wouldn't happen, simply because I had seen you upset and I would never subject any future children I had to you when you were angry. Though I knew you'd never hurt a person, the voice, the posture, the violence-- punching furniture, doors, splitting knuckles, throwing glassware and other objects around-- dear God. I don't know what I was thinking when I'd hold you and calm you down afterward, and whisper that everything would be alright. You didn't deserve it.

You told me the sex was the best you'd ever had. Well, at least that wasn't a lie-- for you. It was good for me when you were being honest, but when you lied and afterward, coaxed me into bed-- I couldn't think of anything but your dishonesty. I'd fake it even when you were selfish in your loving, which was often.

Sometimes I'd test you for a lie, and you'd do so to my face. I'd smile and nod and pretend to believe you, but from the beginning, I knew I would have to verify for myself your telling me that the sky was blue.

You'd hurt me for the sake of hurting me, play with my emotions because you knew you could control them. Some part of you loved making me cry, because you'd make me do so two or three times a day. You liked toying with me, reeling me in and casting me away. Some part of what you did made me apologize to you, one time, for being such an inadequate girlfriend. Me, an inadequate girlfriend! I gave you everything, never expecting anything in return.

I sat with you while your brother was in the hospital and comforted you for three days straight. When he came back, I forewent Valentines Day and suggested making a nice dinner for him and his girlfriend at home, and postponing our own dinner. I spent forever searching for the perfect gifts for you, depleting what little savings I had on you-- on things that would encourage you and inspire you. I had my mom make chocolate roses which she arranged beautifully in a little pot. I came and I helped you make that awful frozen halibut and the rice pilaf that we burned-- and we didn't get any alone time. I never got even a card. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't about the gift-- it was about the utter disregard of me, of what I had done, of the lack of appreciation for having me in your life. It had been the same on my birthday-- no recognition or attempt to rectify the lack of recognition either. And that was when it hit me again, that you didn't love me. I still stayed for a while.

There was the pregnancy scare. We didn't have sex partially because of that but also because that was the peak of your illness. I still did what I could. We talked about options, and you swore left, right, and down center that the choice was mine and you'd do whatever I wanted, even if that meant marriage. I was worried about termination because it would affect my chances at future children, and you said every right thing to try and appease my fears. Luckily, the tests were negative, and there was no reason to worry further. I knew, though, that had they been positive-- you wouldn't have been true to your word. Your family may have encouraged you to stay because they cared for me, and at the time, your sister was my best friend-- but I knew you, and I knew that you hated living here, hated being trapped here. That would have been your excuse to leave and never return.

I realized what I had to do one day when I didn't recognize myself in the mirror. I'd resolved to do it gently, to leave once you were stable and on new medications, but you beat me to the punch. It truly didn't make sense to me, and even though I had planned it, I was still heartbroken. You did it in reassuring tones, though the words weren't. You did it over the phone, rather than grace me with your presence and make me feel respected enough to do it in person.

"You knew this was coming, but this isn't going to work out. You and me." And when I asked why, "Because I needed you and you weren't there for me. Everyone in my family noticed you being gone, too." Lie. I had spoken to his mother not two days before, and his sister that day. "I just wanted to wait until your finals were over to do it, so you wouldn't stress about this," you said, attempting to sound considerate. Liar, liar, liar. I knew why you had waited-- you knew that my mother would have ruined you had you not done so. You knew that I would, too. We knew about the illegal plants growing in your shed, and I knew about the various substances you sold to the kids from the high school because you were far too lazy to get a legitimate job-- my mother had guessed long ago. "Listen, if you ever need any sort of closure, of if you want to talk," you said, awkwardly, "just know that we'll always be friends, okay? You had some growing up to do, and you need a few years to get to where I am now." There's a three year difference between us, darling. I'm the more mature despite your being older. I've had to be in this relationship. How dare you belittle me? "I know you probably can't talk now," you had heard my sobbing, "but give me a call."

I called you an hour later. "Why?" I asked.

"Why what?" You responded. You was high, though you had claimed to still be on the bandwagon for your drug use. Yet another lie.

"Why did you lie to me last night, when you told me that you did believe I was there for you, that you didn't deserve me, that I was perfect for you?"

You laughed coldly. "You're still on that? I'm already over this. Did you forget that I'm capable of completely cauterizing someone?"

"But," I whispered.

"You knew I'm evil, through and through, and if you didn't, then you weren't as smart as I gave you credit for. Truth was, I needed you, you were never there." What? "I'm moving on to bigger and better things, and you're leaving to study abroad for a year. Why the hell would either of us remain attached?" My heart split completely.

"I didn't deserve this sort of breakup and your treatment of me tonight," I told you, the first time I had ever truly advocated my own rights over yours, not bothering to moderate my words. "You've behaved like an utter bastard and been completely disrespectful and uncaring of me."

"Yeah, well, I didn't deserve your shitty treatment of me, either. I don't love you anymore; I'm the greatest actor on the face of the earth, as you've discovered." And you hung up. There you go, victimizing yourself again. And whenever you've made a statement like that to me, I've always asked for an example; just one. You've never been able to come up with any. Funny that I have at least fifty at the top of my mind.

I ran back to my mother that day and she comforted me. I cut off my hair the next day and took better care of myself in general. Time passed and my heart slowly started to heal. I felt better, was healthier, looked better-- and sought something better, something more. You had left me with trust issues that to this day I haven't recovered from.

I didn't think of you until you contacted me again, claiming to want to be friends. We'd be fools to deny our chemistry. It didn't break my heart again, didn't inspire any feeling but pure anger.

I'd never treat someone as you did though, but I find myself bent on vengeance toward you, and that scares me. I've never been this sort of a person-- and I think you made me this way. What bothers me most is the fact that I let you, willingly. As strong as I consider myself to normally be, I let you walk all over me. Never again; fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

So when you started texting me again, and chatting with me again, I was eager to maintain this 'relationship' that you were seeking.

I always knew we'd get back together, you said. On the phone. We haven't seen each other yet, but I've convinced you I still love you and I'm sorry for whatever I did to make us fall apart. And truthfully, you had added, I'll never be able to find a physical relationship like ours again. It hurts a little, that you'd let your true intentions slip like that. It's no secret what you really want, and you know what I'd need to be in a relationship with you to give it to you. You're never getting it again.

I know what you're doing. It's your inner sociopath shining through. The contact you've initiated is your way of making sure your claws are still sunk deep, that you can still manipulate me. You'd lost your prime puppet and you missed it.

I want you to know that you were my first taste of true love, and this elephant never forgets. That one made me laugh. Just the fact that you think I'm stupid enough to fall for lines like that-- I don't even know what to say about it. You're completely false in any word or action you take.

You've already lied to me again, about your job, even though you claim to want to start anew.

I've pretended to be oblivious, but I know what you're doing. I've simpered and laughed and flirted with you and told you that I miss you, even though I'm a thousand percent relieved that you are out of my heart. I've gleaned information from you without your knowledge by keeping track of your little inconsistencies. I've lied and told you that I haven't dated, haven't gotten involved with anyone since we'd broken up-- even though (despite my difficulty trusting) I've met a man who is a million times what you'll ever be and worships the ground I walk on.

You'll understand, you made me this way, but only toward you. I pray my desire for revenge will fizzle out soon, but the thing you never knew about me was the fact that I was always two steps ahead of you, and your walking over me wasn't a result of expert manipulation, but rather my willingness to concede to maintain a relationship with the one I loved. You never knew that even though I hated lying, and still hate it with a passion, I'm the best liar you could ever meet, and instinctually learned how to beat a detector. I never needed to be trained in lying-- it's part of what made me useful at the once-a-month job you never knew or cared to find out that I had. You never knew that I was the best damn actress you'd ever meet; I can control my heartbeat, my body temperature, my breathing through sheer willpower, years of martial arts training, and years of meditation. My eyes will never betray my emotions-- never have, never will.

And despite all of this, I've never abused my refined abilities (unless it pertained to work) with anyone, not even you. I try to be a decent and considerate human being, and be as utterly honest as possible. Which is why, despite my misgivings, you're going to be the only one I ever abuse it with. You need to learn not to underestimate your opponent. You still underestimate me, and I know exactly what little gears are turning in your head.

I have no pity because I know you are insincere. The lies you've told me since we began talking again prove it. I hear the different tone of voice you take when you're dishonest, and your forgetfulness of the lies you've previously told.

I always knew we'd get back together.

Never again.

I have the power here, and I will always have the control of the situation, whether or not you know it. I loathe you, you sick bastard. I was always the stronger one, emotionally, physically, and mentally, though you never got to see my strength. Why I never showed a backbone, I'm not sure, and I blame myself every day. I promise, however, that you will see my strength in full force. And you will understand that it was your fault.