Five years. I've known you for five years, and every single day of that has been like some sort of board game, back and forth with you. The ball is in my court, it's in yours. We can't make up our fucking minds, instead ignoring and playing mind games and attending to more pressing matters, like cheating girlfriends, mentally abusive relationships, or going-nowhere-fast decisions that neither one of us were really every invested in, but felt like it was an easier thing to deal with than the tension surrounding our every words. And I kept coming back because you were always so honest, so fresh and blatant and 'fuck you, world' about everything that, every time I spoke to you, it was like a breath of fresh air.

I wanted to be like that. I wanted that confidence in my honesty, everything I said sounding like gospel to those that heard it, but when it came down to it, empty words with hidden meanings, riddles no one was supposed to find out, but I did.

It was one of those things I didn't want to admit. I didn't know because I was smart, or easy to talk to, or because you left clues and I pieced them together, but because you wanted to tell me. Sometimes, that makes me feel more privileged than I've ever felt. Sometimes, my self-confidence plummets through the floor. You have a tendency to make me feel like shit, but never when I'm with you, when I'm talking to you. When you're away, I feel like I'm going crazy. My skin itches with the memories of mosquitoes and cigarette smoke, ears ringing when I close my eyes, trying to hear your voice.

And it's never there… Never when I want it to be, never when I'm lying in bed trying not to freak out over some new drama in my life, when I stare at my bedroom ceiling, a photo album, trying to regulate my breathing and wishing you'd call like you used to.

You're so self-destructive, like you've never cared about yourself, too focused on everyone else or your next high or pretending that you don't give a fuck. I've never figured you out. For the longest time, we hung out all of the time; like best friends. You'd complain about your girlfriend, using big words in sentences that never got you anywhere, and I told you, told you, told you to break it off, that you don't deserve the shit she put you through, but the ever present blind eye of teenagers – "She's the one for me" – "we'll never break up" – plagued you, too, and it hurts me to admit that.

When I think about you, my lungs clench, feeling like someone's pulling at them with clawed fingers, and it's hard for me to stand up. We never had anything, and I always had this lingering feeling that we never would. I'm not sure if it's because we were too similar or too different or because you'd sworn off love forever after she broke your heart, but I always felt that the words we exchanged were more of a dance, something that, after being apart for so long, we'd long since perfected despite the feelings fading away.

I want you so bad to stop lying to me. I don't need your lies to make me happy, and I sure as hell don't need you to get my hopes up. Stop giving me your bullshit, and maybe I can sleep at night again instead of waiting for another drunken phone call telling me how much you love me and how much you want to kill yourself.

I'm sick of this. I just want the old you back. Before the real world got in your head and you started falling deeper into this hole I can't get you back out of.

Because honestly? I'm scared that I'll lose you for good if we keep playing this game.