The morning after I almost hooked up with my ex I awoke in a storm of guilt. I hadn't wanted what he suggested- a friend's with benefits situation similar to one we had after we broke up- and I didn't know how to tell him "no." I never knew how to tell him "no."

When my best friend and I started driving to school I told her about what had occurred, the previous night's events sugar coated to make it look better. Like she always did, she told me that I had to confront him. The time had come when I needed to grow a backbone and tell him that I think we should only remain platonic, even though that was a word I knew he would never understand.

I told her that I would stand up for myself. The greatest loophole I found was that I didn't have to tell him in person.

Similarly to back when I broke up with him, I decided to write everything out and send it to him. Like I knew back then, I wouldn't be able to tell him in person. He would whine, and complain, and guilt-trip me into staying by his side. He knew just how to bend me down to his level and keep me under his hand.

I couldn't do it anymore.

During my first period class, I went into the weight room in the gym so I could text him in silence and solitude. All of the words I wanted to scream at him were swarming around my head and stinging at my tired eyes. My lungs felt like they were aching to collapse, and my hands felt rusty and stiff.

Blinking back tears, I took a deep breath and tried figuring how to word things politely. I couldn't tell him that he's a horrible person for using me whenever he wanted someone to bang. I couldn't tell him that I hope someday he messes with the wrong person and they beat the life out of him for his actions.

If I were to succumb to the fury in my veins I would turn into the bully I never wanted to become. I had spent my whole life trying not to turn into that kind of person, the kind of person my father was before he died. So, I decided to try a different tactic.

I typed out that I spent the night thinking about our conversation and that I no longer thought that we should have a friends with benefits relationship. The important thing to me was that it technically wasn't a lie.

I had spent that whole night drowning in the memory of the pseudo-conversation as he talked at me and tried shoving his tongue down my throat. The actions from that night had bled into my dreams and left me in the morning with a hangover in my bones. Regret tied a noose around my throat and tried strangling me in my restless sleep. All the while I had been aching to wake up into a world where he didn't exist.

After I sent him the short, emotionless message, he sent back something I couldn't read through blurry eyes and I ended up deleting almost immediately. Maybe it said "OK." Maybe it read "alright." Whatever he sent, I felt comfortable for the first time in three weeks after reading it.

The whistle from the gym teachers broke me out of my mind, telling me it was time to leave.

Later that day when I saw him in the hallway heading in the opposite direction of me, he refused to look me in the eye as we passed one another. It was then that I fully realized that I had finally burned the bridge connecting us. I had pulled the plug that was keeping our dying relationship alive.

Now that it was real, I was okay with that.

I realized that although I still care for him, I need to be around people who don't use me and actually care about me without any selfish reasons behind their caring mask. Although I am accustomed to the cycle of abuse, whether emotionally or not, I can see the way I need to go, and I am headed that way now.

I just hope that I can make it to the light at the end of the tunnel.