233

by Violet

I’ve been selecting the archive button on every device that shows his name. It’s always hard to say goodbye to an old friend. You worry that no one will ever understand you as well as he did, and you would be right, no one will. It was a rare combination of wanting to know you because he found you intoxicating, and a natural intimacy that drew you close in the first place.

It was the right amount of incompatible for what it eventually became, a unique bond that always hinted at a little more, we were always a little too flirtatious for our own good. He would pretend not to notice as I partied away my sanity and would use euphemisms like “you’re too exciting for me” rather than confront my self destructive behaviour. He always knew when to bow out gracefully from a losing fight.

I pretended to be bored by everything he represented and I never let him know I think I could never deserve someone as good as he was. I watch him struggle to keep his distance as if something about me could be contagious. He was so risk averse that even witnessing it made him feel uneasy. I was too young to admit I was wrong, how could I ever be wrong. I was so sure I knew how to love, I was so sure I was making myself happy. It didn’t matter if the happiness was only ever temporary, if I could collect enough blocks of temporary happiness then I could pretend I was right all along. Every mistake, every heartbreak could be erased if I could just kiss the right lips, taste the right people, forget about yesterday and live for tomorrow.

She thinks I loved him once, albeit was a long time ago. More importantly, she thinks he loved me once, and that in itself was an unforgivable betrayal. Monogamy does not believe in grey areas. We both know enough to understand that what feels good is not enough of a foundation to build a life on, and we are both too terrified of the naked truth to be with someone who sees so clearly. You need the person who sees only enough to love you, not the one who sees all and loves you despite. That sort of love burns out the moment your faults begin to outweigh your redeeming qualities and they will resent you for becoming yourself.

I know I loved him once, for a few hours when we laid in bed together and he wrapped his arms around me like I had always belonged there, and he kissed me the way I always wanted to be kissed, and he showed me what peace should look like. I knew I could hurt him then, with my carelessness, my manic episodes, my unwillingness to conform. My utter devotion coupled with my inability to be faithful would confuse and terrorize him. However passionate we could be would only be matched by the excruciating pain when he comes to realise that some fires cannot be contained, some people cannot be tamed.