Every lie is a promise I don't want to keep

Disclaimer: The characters and other things from The Vampire Diaries don't belong to me. Credit goes to the rightful owners.

If only you knew why I needed you to hate me, then maybe I wouldn't feel so disgusted with myself. I almost told you but you looked at me with such loathing, I knew I crossed the line I never thought I would. I am unforgivable. It's done.

I had to break you, because it's the only way for me to feel enough guilt to walk away. I needed to see the hurt I inflicted on your face, the betrayal, so that I would have every reason to leave you alone because I will only bring you pain by being around. I needed reason to say I'm sorry but not find the courage to actually say it. I only needed the motivation to leave you.

I had to make sure you would see the monster in me, and stop trying to find reasons to redeem me. I need it, to stop hoping you'll ever want to kiss me and choose me, like no one ever has.

But now as I watch flames lick the broken glass, I feel empty. There's a movie in my mind, a constant loop of the moment you flew to your brother's side, the seconds before when you actually believed you could stop me because up to that moment, you had faith I'd have done anything for you.

I still would. I'd make things easier for you by choosing to be your enemy. I'll live the lie you chose for us—that there is nothing between us. I'm going to let you lock me up away in that dusty part of your mind you never visit. I'll be a memory you'll wish away. Atlanta never happened, and you never tried to look past the defenses to break me down the way you have. I'll be the only one who will wallow in misery each night, wondering what would have happened if I was the one who saved you from that car wreck and I was the hero I never can be.

I'm walking away, Elena, and you're going to think I've switched off everything in me that knows how to feel. We both need to be convinced of that, because that's the story written for us. I'm never the guy who never gets the girl because I'm damaged beyond repair. And you're the girl who gets the prince, and the happily ever after. It's a reality we need to deal with.

I was wrong to call you a liar, even if you truly are. I need you to hate me, hurt me and make me feel unworthy because it's the only way you can stay with the man who you deserve. Because it's only a matter of time before you realize the evil in me has washed away and the only thing left is the man who trusts you.

Stefan will never hurt you, drive you crazy or make you feel like you're torn between love and hatred. He will protect you better than I ever will because he doesn't take risks like I do. He's sorted out what role Katherine played in his life, whereas I don't think I'll ever accept she never cared for me.

But know this, I will always love you. I'm staying in the darkness you pulled me out from because I want you to be free to live the life you choose—whether or not it's with Stefan.

I wasn't drunk, not even a little bit. I knew what I was doing but I wanted an escape clause in case I needed it. I just wanted a reason to give it one last try—that just maybe I could whisk you away and we'd never look back. But I was only fooling myself.

I will never be able to truly hurt you, only make you believe I can. I saw the ring, Elena, even if you must believe I didn't. I did. But I won't bring it up and correct you.

So now, here we are. Where we should be, playing the roles laid out for us. I won't fight it. I'll be your knight in rusty armor, broken inside, protecting you from afar—from myself.

Don't care, Elena. Don't believe in me. Don't think for one second that I'm anything but broken. Don't ever fall for me. Because the moment you stop and do any of those, I'll never let you go.