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by Violet

I wonder if you ever think of me.

Not in a romantic sense, but just as a passing thought. I wonder if you’re ever haunted by memories of laughs we shared, secret smiles and subtle glances, a stifled giggle now and then.

I don’t have a choice in what reminds me of you. The episodes come and go as if I am a mere bystander and the theatre has decided today it will play you, it will remind me that you’re hilarious and witty and all the things I loved about you are still true, but I was not worthy of being held onto.

I see your face now and then in strangers, boys who hold a shadow of your Nordic features, but never quite capturing your smug yet self deprecating charm.

We stood together at the crossroads and you took the good path, the straight and narrow, the safer road, always so sensible. I was always clamoring to be misunderstood, to be missed, to make mistakes so you could save me. You grew tired of my antics quickly and soon enough, you grew tired of me. Who could really blame you?

I asked you a long time ago, the first time you said you loved me. I asked what love meant to you. You were confused by the question. I was unwilling to share my answer, knowing it would do more harm than good. Because love meant I’d do almost anything for you. Anything within my power, anything that wouldn’t result in someone else’s pain, anything that wouldn’t destroy me in the process. If some small sacrifice on my part could improve your day, I wouldn’t hesitate, because your happiness meant more to me than anything else. I was so blinded by my infatuation that I refused to see it was never the same for you. “I love you” meant you tolerated my existence. You allowed me to build my life around you out of convenience. You told me lies because they sounded better. You let me live in my own fantasy so you never had to break my heart. You waited for me to break my own.

Still I hear your voice some days, quiet murmurs in the dark. I feel your arms around me sometimes, and you whisper that I’m the prettiest girl you’ve ever known. I didn’t believe it then and I know it was never true, but it still felt good to hear you say it. “I love you” meant you were willing to lie, and that must count for something. You risked a tarnish on your soul in order to make me smile. You loved me the only way you knew how, for a while.

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