Serendipity

Was I born a masochist or did society make me this way?

Tag: creative writing

On coming home 17 years later

My friend wrote this lovely poem~ Original post here.

When I was five my parents moved us to New Zealand.

I learned how to say Aotearoa before I knew how to write my own name in Chinese.

I knew how to spell New Zealand before I ever knew how to write the two characters that read ‘Taiwan’.

Yet I was always reminded of one thing:

Even if you grew up there, your skin is still yellow; they’ll never see you as one of them.

Don’t forget where you came from.

I know this because I’ve spent my life listening to people

yell go back to your country

from car windows when I walk down the street

and I want to yell back “this is my country, I know no other”.

I will always be immigrant in their eyes.

Politicians spit Chinese, spit foreign like we have not brought wealth;

like we have not paid dearly in both currency and dignity to make this place home.

I have heard the words bloody asians more than enough times,

so don’t worry, I’ll never forget where I came from.

Taiwan, I say, when people ask.

I’m from Taiwan.

But I wish they didn’t feel the need to ask.

Two years ago I moved to Taiwan.

(Or should I say back to Taiwan?)

My mother says when she looks at the sky here she sees her youth floating past,

and she knows the streets we walk down by heart.

She hears home in each step she takes.

She did not want to leave 17 years ago.

It was here, too, that I drew my first breath, spoke my first word, took my first step, learned the word home.

But I was torn from my soil as a sapling, and now my roots have all dried –

slice them open with a pocketknife and nothing spills out.

But if  you cut open my veins I will bleed pohutukawa flowers.

I will bleed the salt waters of the south pacific ocean, childhoods at the beach fighting with seagulls,

and an expanse of long white clouds.

I will bleed quiet night skies filled with stars, the damp smell of bush walks in the Waitakere Ranges,

and the taste of cold L&P.

People here tell me how lucky I am to know how to speak English but

How do I tell them I wish I could exchange my tongue for one that matches my skin?

How do I tell them that when I try to speak Chinese, I often opt for silence because I struggle too hard to find the words;

I guess I just misplaced them when we crossed an ocean all those years ago.

How do I tell them that when I try to write Chinese, my pen is like a lost explorer, depressed and drunk;

each stroke is a maze that he cannot fathom so he sits down to cry.

How do I tell them I wish I could write the intricate characters telling stories in the language that should be carved into the walls of my brain?

My grandfather told me that each Chinese character evolved from a picture and each picture tells a story.

If a picture is really worth a thousand words, and there are over 50,000 Chinese characters,

there are 50 million stories to be told.

50 million stories I do not know.

I have only 26 letters to rearrange, but they work with me,

use my tongue as diving boards,

fall from my lips like fearless skydivers,

deliver my thoughts like practised messengers.

Nowadays I avoid mentioning that I don’t belong

but when people ask me what city I’m from I don’t know what to say.

I was born in Taipei

but Auckland nurtured me with its gentle fingers.

Auckland taught me peace,

taught me how blue the sky can be

taught me, how it feels to take off your shoes and run barefoot in the grass.
Do I say Auckland or Taipei?

I’m not going to point out that I’m out of place

but I can’t claim this city as home and

I don’t know how to talk my way out of this one and oh no my words are tripping over my teeth on their way out again.

I wish I could say what I’m trying to say in English –

no i’m not saying I’m better because I speak another language –
I’m sorry.
I wish I was one of you.

And when I say I miss home I’m not saying I don’t love my birthplace,

it’s just that the definition of home has always been fluid and

my search for belonging has made me an albatross,

gliding along the shoreline on switching currents,

my feet never touching land.

And even though I finally look like I’m home now –

a dark haired, yellow skinned puzzle piece that’s turned up as last,

my edges don’t quite fit as well as I’d hoped.

So I tell my parents I don’t think this is home and this city is a stranger to me,

and that it makes me want to run because they’ve always warned me against the unknown.

I tell them that before I left Auckland,

I ground my heart into sand and let the wind carry it away

so New Zealand would always have a piece of me

and now when my friends walk along the beach there,

I feel each footprint in my chest.

I tell them the sky in this city is thick with a collective memory that I cannot access,

and when I reach out to those around me I only grab empty air –

but my father insists that I’m home now and so I say

I’m home now.

211

Is it possible to miss the person you could have been?

Who would I be if we had never met?

Maybe my hands would be less shaky when I touch his skin, and I would relish his warmth and forget the world when he tightened his arms around me, instead of pushing him away whenever it felt dangerously comfortable.

Maybe I would have less scars on my body, and it would be easier for him to mark me. But to be honest I don’t think I would have stopped if you hadn’t told me you would stop loving me if I didn’t learn to love myself a little bit more.

Maybe I could listen to that damn song without crying or drifting into wishful thinking that somehow, miraculously, you were still by my side and we were still something, anything.

Maybe I wouldn’t waste any time thinking of different ways to hurt you should we ever meet again. Weren’t you the one who told me “we always hurt the ones we love”? Well darling I’m still hurting, so I guess that means you loved me the most.

If we had never met, perhaps the words I love you wouldn’t bring me to my knees. I wouldn’t be terrified of wanting permanency only to discover that I was only ever meant to be temporary. I wouldn’t be frightened by the possibility of happiness, I wouldn’t associate pain as a necessary part of that equation. I wouldn’t smile at him like I knew a secret, there would be less sadness in my eyes, and I would not doubt myself every time someone showed me a hint of affection.

But I have a sneaking suspicion that if I had never met you, some other boy would have taken your place. My heart would still be unceremoniously broken, just in a different way. Maybe we don’t matter as much as we think we ought to. So none of us are really villains because none of us are that important. Maybe we only hold on so tight to the hurt because we are not ready to admit that our love was never as unique as the stories we were promised. We never meant as much to each other as we said we did.

And yet, I miss all the things we never said.

204

You’re on my mind a lot, and it kills me a little.

When you left you never questioned why there was only one set of footprints in the sand. You never bothered to mention to her that I carried you across the sea and the desert, that my feet were bloody and my hands were bruised and calloused but I still smiled at you like it didn’t hurt.

You’re on my mind a lot, you ruin me, I think.

When the light in my eyes extinguish, don’t let it put out the fire in your heart. Stay with me in my era of mistakes and delirium, find some semblance of balance within my twisted world of distorted realities, my favourite madness.

You can be my sun, my world, and I could love you till the universe was no more, and yes I still believe in love stories and fantasies because we dream further than our realities, that is how we reach the stars.

You’re on my mind a lot, you break me, darling.

When you reach the crossroads will you take the coward’s path, or will you take my hand and walk the lonely road paved with good intentions, filled with turns and tricks and no happy endings? Will you take me with you and learn what it means to suffer, to experience excruciating pain that rips you apart but when it’s over, when you heal, nothing is ever the same. Are you brave enough to start over?

You’re on my mind a lot, love is a feeling best served with heartache.

Don’t mistake me for the girl with the flowery dress, all broken smiles and easy to please. Watch me twist your arm till your world is upside down and let’s fall together, let the past unravel, whisper my favourite word: Yes.

201

I am mesmerised by the idea of you. It has been too long since someone was able to capture my attention with uncompromising force, and create such a convincing illusion of instant intimacy.

I can’t remember the last time someone touched me like they were painting a masterpiece on my skin. You reached out for fragments I buried when I shed my innocence seven summers ago, and I am still trying to figure out how you saw the parts of me no one else even knew about. The bruises he left faded long ago yet I always felt their sting whenever I found myself tangled to new skin. But this time it felt different, it was the first time I’d been held by someone who made me feel clean.

I am unnerved by the image of you. I have insanity carved into my bones, I crave the cheap thrills of temporary madness, I saw a storm in your eyes and it is captivating, now I can’t bring myself to leave. You pulled me closer and I wanted you closer still, never pausing to contemplate the origins of your easy charm. You tasted like the winds of Autumn, sheltered by faint notes of tobacco, dangerously addictive. You brought back memories I thought were lost forever, and when I breathed you in, I felt like treasure again.

I am falling for your clever lies. I’m sitting here trying to recreate your crooked smile, the unmistakable smug satisfaction derived from a lifetime of privilege, of never having to hear the word ‘no’, because you are too hard to refuse. I have the unfortunate habit of forgetting that the high is never worth the low, but with you, it didn’t feel like a crime to be kissed. You brought back a side of me I forgot even existed, you make me feel whole again.

I am plotting my defences, rebuilding walls that you teared down mercilessly. I am afraid of falling in love with you, and having to watch you fall out of love with me. It is like awakening from a deep slumber, they took and took from me till I was a shell of the girl I used to be, but you’re standing at my doorstep now with flowers and promises of new beginnings. You’re drawing me close, my hands are pinned down and you whisper that I’m the prettiest girl you’ve ever seen. I look into your eyes and all I want to do is stay, stay, stay.

If you set fire to my heart, I’ll burn us both to the ground, baby. 

199

Standing at the airport again with my bags in one hand and your goodbyes clutched in the other. Life amuses all by playing tricks on us and I’m picking up the pieces where you left them, we’re alone again but this time I don’t feel lonely when I’m not holding your hand. Our story began two years ago when I fell asleep in your arms, but now I can hardy remember the last time I woke up from a dream that didn’t involve a nightmare. I saw you smiling in the light at the end of the tunnel, you whispered my name, tears streamed down my face and all was well again. No humble apologies required this time, I forgive you for all your transgressions. I remember the capacity of human error, I understand your mistakes, I am letting you go.

Remember we are all living on borrowed time, and one day these mistakes will all be erased, the world will be a better place without us. But there is darkness emanating through me, and everything I touch turns to dust, it is the curse of your love. I am caught in the labyrinth of your imagination, the inner workings and twisted mind of a madman. I am staring at the stars, searching for my origins, hoping to hear a voice of comfort or a whisper of something, someone please, remind me that I am alive, and this is more than a dream. I want to wake up.

Something inside me has been wounded, or maybe I have always been this way. Maybe the cracks were always there and you merely removed the stitches, maybe you set me free. But the higher I fly the harder I’ll fall and the fear is what drives me, it’s driving me insane. I look into your eyes hoping to find mercy, but all I see is the unforgiving cruelty of a lunatic, the remnants of a brilliant mind, clouded by depravity and sadistic intentions. You have come here to hurt me, at last. I have waited a long time for you someone like you.

 

 

198

I wasn’t lying when I said I wanted everything. For those who feel the graze of death too young, we always want more. We become too aware of the finite amount of time we have been designated, and desperately want to experience all that is possible before it’s over. I want the good, the bad, the ugly, and I ignore the consequences with a fierce determination. I refuse to test the waters, and dive right in without a care for the repercussions. I’ve always chosen all or nothing, never in between; I detest purgatory. I want so much that nothing ever feels like enough, I am insatiable in every meaning of the word. I am a sinner without remorse, I am a liar unfamiliar with guilt, I am a heart breaker and your best lover, I am the fallen.

I believe when the universe was created, when we were merely stardust, our atoms found each other once and we continue to drift back again and again, attracted to the same energy of our beginnings, and that is what makes us feel complete. But I am not searching for my better half, I am not seeking completeness, I am patiently waiting to be broken. I want to unravel in your arms, I want you to be strong enough to break me, study the shattered pieces, be the sole witness to my destruction. I need you to find beauty in my pain.

When I looked into your eyes and found traces of rage and insanity, I felt my heart beat faster and my soul begin to ache. This was it, checkmate, this is game, fatal attraction. I am drawn to a quality I can’t quantify, an aura I can’t explain, a force to be reckoned with. I love playing with fire, I cannot live without risk. But if you want to bring out the worst in me, you must prepare for carnage. If you wish to tame me, you must know how to handle me broken. If you want to be let in, I promise to make your world spin. If you plan to take control, prepare to have your reality stolen. This is not a task for the weak-minded, I demand the spirit of a champion.

But if you find yourself lost in the moment, if you feel your heart flutter in an unsettling manner, remember I am not safe to keep. If you find yourself falling for illusions, searching for answers, remember I am full of beautiful lies and nightmares that scar. If you find yourself staring into my soul and you are not afraid, you should remember that love is the most dangerous game in our universe. There may be two villains in our story, but only one will have a broken heart.

194

I am tired of weak women. What happened to us? Eyeliner winged, stilettos tapping the ground rhythmically, heads held high, and yet we’re so broken inside. How did we become a generation of professional women with critically low self esteem? Why is nothing we do ever good enough? We can be mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, and somehow if you’re single, if a man finds you undesirable, that’s the tipping point. That can cost you everything.

I’ve seen smart girls fall into the most obvious traps, losing their minds over heartless boys who never gave a second thought to their sufferings. I’ve seen her chase pills with vodka and cry in the hospital wing after getting her stomach pumped while he sat there guiltily, mumbling useless apologies. You don’t apologise for breaking a heart, it takes exceptional cruelty to expect forgiveness for such a crime.

I’ve seen her draw hearts in chalk on his doorstep, drowning out the unbearable noises in her head, warning her that he is nothing but a mistake. I saw her break a plate in half and draw colourful lines on her wrist with the porcelain edge, and a terrible smile settled on her face. She was an angel before he stole her wings.

I am tired of weak men. What happened to you? What sort of sadistic pleasure do you derive from destroying beautiful women? What is so much easier about lying than telling the truth? Why do you thrive on the ambiguity, on empty promises, on vague implications of a possible future involving two, when that is never your intention? Why give us the illusion that we mean something and then blame us for believing in magic?

I will not settle for your late night guilt, when the last quarter bottle of rum reminds you of the taste of her and you ponder the idea of calling, and you wonder if she misses you too. She does not.

I will not accept the regret that comes two years later, when you see a face that reminds you of her but the new girl is not as pretty, and you wonder if you made a mistake. Yes you did.

So take your sheepish smile and use your charm on someone more naive, a brown eyed girl with curly lashes who lies in bed and pictures the two of you happy, and hurts when you never call. You will never hurt me.

I am tired of weak people. Look alive, darling, the fight’s not over yet. Let’s go to war over nothing, the same reason as always. Tell me how much you loved her silky blonde hair and soft lips that always tasted like cherry chap-stick. Tell me how she wept on the kitchen floor clutching a bottle of gin when you told her the truth isn’t what she’d always wished for. Tell me how you’ve kept busy all these years trying to forget the way she smiled on the way out, dragging the last of her luggage and the last piece of her shattered heart. Tell me I should never love you. I promise I won’t.

189

It is summer and the air feels thin around us. You open all the windows in our apartment to tempt a non existent breeze while I pout at the weak air conditioning as if I could guilt it into functioning. We spend our mornings cramped in the bathroom, taking cold showers together and spending too much time with our hands on each other. I grew accustomed to the calluses on your fingers and you learn to avoid my scars. We barely knew each other but we didn’t need to know better. You dragged me to the beach for an excuse to hold my hand, and to this day I cannot visit the ocean without thinking of your arms around me under the waves, keeping me close. Every mistake we made that day was worth it. I looked into your eyes and saw passion.

It is Autumn and the air is gentle. It is the season of death and redemption, and we are no longer infatuated with each other’s quirks and sins, we have fallen into a deeper mystery. You read me poems by Frost and I try to memorise your favourite. I have not been able to tempt a poem from my mind since; all my words have twisted into bitter songs. Every remarkable day we spent under the sun has been stored away, you turned my mind into a maze and I have given up my search for peace. I looked into your eyes and refused to read the signs.

It is Winter and your heart is frozen. I caught the way you looked at her and gave you more credit than you ever bargained for. I begged you to be a better liar and swallowed your guilt, I downed your lies faster than tequila, boy you served it smooth. I looked into our mirror and the wild child had disappeared, I was a fool who thought you could love me tamed. I grew comfortable and complacent, not noticing the more I tried to love you the more you despised me for it. You took both hands and wrapped them around the life I’d planned and squeezed the last breath out of it. You silenced my screams with a kiss. I looked into your eyes and saw my own darkness.

It is Spring and I am learning how to let go. I know the reasons you won’t be coming, I understand why you couldn’t stay. I am recollecting traces of myself and spending hours chasing memories while you wait patiently for them to expire. But I’m the ghost in your corridor at 2 in the morning when you have company yet still feel lonely. I’m the coffee you drink every morning and I’m the song played by every radio station on repeat. I’m the taste of regret that lingers on the bottom of every glass of whiskey and there will never be enough alcohol to drown out the voice in your head whispering my name. I’m the colour of Autumn and I don’t fade easily. I will never look into your eyes again.

186

It’s funny how quickly things can change. Your favourite cafe has caved to the new competition that opened next door, and I am too afraid of your shadow to visit mine. I still drink coffee but I never add sugar anymore; some days I taste more bitter than black espresso.

It was the way you chose to remember me. We sat in mutual regret, two stupid kids who fell in love with so much enthusiasm we didn’t know how to fall out without falling to pieces. I fidgeted with my sleeves, waiting for you to speak, to make an effort, to put some substance into the words you kept repeating. I still loved you enough to believe you could change, even when you couldn’t look at me. Maybe because you knew you couldn’t fix your mistakes, and you saw our meeting for what it was: an empty gesture; salt on my wounds. I will pretend you felt shame.

It was the way you sighed, it caught me off guard. Years of regret frozen in the solemn air, lingering,  the world was locked in slow motion, and I couldn’t cry anymore, my tears had hardened. There was pain in your eyes too, and I was responsible, I made sure we’d suffer together. I would trade our most colourful memories for one last miserable fight with you, to disagree violently and unapologetically, to scream and shout and show no mercy, to remember you in more than just faded mistakes.

I waited for you to fall asleep while I rested my shoulders on your chest and counted your heartbeat. I heard you mumble an awkward apology and realised I would never learn to forgive you. Maybe because if I don’t hate you I might have to actually feel something and that could kill me. Maybe because I would trade all our memories together just to remember what it feels like to be whole again. Maybe because I am in love with this pain, this exquisite pain of being incomplete, the intoxicating allure of feeling broken.

 

181

If you don’t break my heart, I’m going to break yours. My mother never taught me how to love without leaving scars, and I’ve spent years gifting bruises to undeserving hearts. It won’t be your fault, but I probably won’t admit it’s mine either. The worst parts of you will fall in love with my cruelty.

You will call me at 2 AM asking me to come home and the blaring club music will drown out your desperation. When I come stumbling in at 4 AM with smeared lipstick that tastes like someone else’s skin you’ll wish you never met me. I’ll blame the alcohol and you’ll pretend to forgive, even though we both know better.

I’ll pretend to like black coffee at first to impress you. Three months later you’ll catch me adding milk and sugar and you don’t really notice. I’ll make your mornings better, but you won’t notice this either. When I leave, no one will make you coffee quite how you like it. It never tastes quite the same, and you always notice.

You’ll say I love you first and I’ll kiss you hard so I don’t have to lie out loud. You will interpret this the way you want to and when the time is right I will use it to make you hurt. It is easier to build mistakes on broken promises. It is hard to remember we made each other happy once.

The novelty of being with someone independent will wear off sooner than you think, and you’ll miss the feeling of being missed. You’ll wake up hungover on Sunday mornings and think about the girl with wide eyes who would lie in bed and text you at 5 in the morning, begging you to come home. You’ll miss her.

On our anniversary dinner I’ll catch you staring at the waitress the same way you used to look at me, and when this doesn’t bother me I’ll realise we both moved on but forgot to tell each other. She writes her number on the receipt like a giant cliche and you call her because so are you.

When I find her scarf misplaced victoriously in our apartment, you finally admit we misplaced our lives too. Four summers later the tan line around my finger fades enough for me to forget her name. Four summers ago you whispered her name instead of mine. I almost didn’t love you, you know. If only.

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August 12, 2014

180

I feel disconnected, like a wire was cut without my permission and now I’m drifting into unknown territory.

It was a dream and nightmare all at once, the city danced and we swayed to the beat, but the stifling heat of this concrete jungle made it impossible for us to breathe.

I lit another cigarette on your balcony, my arms around your neck, watching the smoke trail up and the curls settle onto your washed up shirt. You kissed my neck and I whispered another lie because I didn’t want to spoil the moment. It just sounded better.

I watched strangers shuffle along the dirty streets lined with too much history they didn’t care for, their heads head high but defeat in their eyes because there’s no love in this city and it’s driving them crazy.

You lit another cigarette and by this time we were not simply strangers, but lovers by default. We were in the right place at the right time, just lonely enough, and wiling to lose ourselves in the friction. Hollow passion can taste so sweet, if only because they remind you of empty promises.

I saw myself reflected in windows full of ugly neon signs and I had painted myself neat. Dark chocolate eyes and black lipstick; I left bruises on your cheek. I told you not to get too close. I warned you not to love me.

I followed your darkness and played with your monsters, when I left I took them with me and you were too blind to notice. The rain fell soft and warm but it couldn’t wash away my sins, and the novelty of pretending to be lovers wore off by the time the neighbors turned off their lights.

Our hearts were miles apart and broken in different ways, but it felt good to feel skin on skin, to be chemicals reacting.

June 29, 2014

179

Freedom is exhilarating, but not everyone is built for it. We’re all monsters, underneath our fragile skin and brittle bones, we hide our lies with pretty words and a well timed nod of approval. We don’t have the strength to let go when a good thing is over, so we grip tighter, tease the strain and hope for a miracle. We know miracles don’t exist, but we hope for one anyway. This hope is what kills us inside, slowly, then all at once.

Freedom comes at a price, but most of us fall into our comfort zones and forget how to leave. We get so used to holding the same hand after a while we’re not quite sure if we love that person or the familiarity of them. When we settle down we settle into someone else’s skin and it makes us weak; no person was designed to bear the pain of two living souls.

Freedom is being in control of losing control. There was always the part of me that craved danger because the feeling of losing control is so intoxicating. Life and I have a long standing suicide pact and sometimes I wish someone else would pull the trigger. But there are mornings when I wake up feeling like a new beginning, feeling like less, like I am losing myself yet I am becoming so much more in the process. The beauty and the addiction lies in the transformation, in your flesh, in your eyes, in places no one can see or touch or even imagine.

I have been alone for too long, settling into my own skin, realising all my flaws and wondering how anyone will ever love me, wondering if I will ever love anyone the way I love freedom. I’m stubborn, I drift, I indulge my own bad habits and I bore too easily. Love never felt like coming home, love never made me feel safe. Love was heartache, love was living from a suitcase, love was running, love was careless, and love never came back for me.

 

June 23, 2014

178

Somewhere in between growing up and growing old, my life became a constant struggle between who I am and who I used to be. A part of me wants to be at peace and proud of myself for making it this far because lord knows this journey hasn’t been easy, then there’s this other part that knows I could be a better person but I no longer want to be.

The crazy part of me that he wanted to tame, the wildness that never went away, that part of me wants to disappear after graduation and go on a big adventure. But the sensible, logical coward in me would stay for the financial security and stability and I am watching myself become boring, so boring. I watched the child in me plant these seeds and waited patiently all these years for the flowers to grow but now that they’re blooming, I’m the one pulling them out.

I don’t fantasize about killing myself anymore but the petty part of me is still fuming and resentful for everything that’s happened, and sometimes when the rage slips out I am shocked I could ever contain this madness in the first place. I’ve grown to love my scars and be comfortable in my own skin, and I know that being alone isn’t the same as being lonely but god I miss touching you, I miss being touched.

I don’t know who finally killed the part of me that knew how to dream, but somewhere in between growing bitter and growing cold, the magic disappeared and I’m sick of waking up to nightmares. It’s as if my mind has been ripped apart and put back together so many times, you told me what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger but you forgot to mention being stronger is not the same as being whole. I will never be whole again.

June 7, 2014

174

I miss you, in a Sunday morning don’t wanna get out of bed because I dreamed about you and I think if I keep my eyes closed, your face might come back to me again kind of way. In a Friday night staying up till 3 AM and blushing as I read screenshots of our old messages kind of way. In a wasted Saturdays writing about what we could have been kind of way.

I miss you, the way that you could make me laugh till my belly was aching, and the way that your eyebrows would scrunch up when you had to wipe my tears away because you truly couldn’t bear to see me sad.

I miss you, whether it’s hot summer days, or cold winter nights huddled next to the fireplace, nothing I do now feels as right as our first spontaneous trip to the beach. You pulled me into the freezing water and silenced my protests with a kiss. We left mismatched footprints in the sand and that was the first of many sunsets we watched together.

I miss you, your calloused hands from playing the ukelele and the way they used to graze my skin; I used to be your favourite instrument. Your smile, that god damn charming smile that made life look easy, you smiled at me like I was your reason for living. You set my world on fire with that smile and I loved the way it burned. I laughed as black smoke filled my lungs and it all crumbled to ashes.

I miss you, your uncanny ability to cook everything to perfection, your extensive knowledge on every unimportant subject I could ever imagine, and the way you simply cruised through life, without ever questioning the absurdity of our existence. You were always meant to exist in this way, you were a drifter not a doubter, and you never intended to stay.

I miss you, in a I hate your fucking guts but I still want to kiss you a thousand times kind of way. In a I don’t know whether I want to slap you in the face or push you to a wall so I can make out with you kind of way. In an embarrassingly primitive, it makes me cringe to say your name kind of way. In a you hurt me terribly but I still fucking love you kind of way.

May 27, 2014

173

It wasn’t personal.

I know, that sounds like bullshit. I know, everything is personal. But it wasn’t about you, in the end. It was just me, my broken heart, my bruised ego, my anger, my pain. You couldn’t see what I felt, and I was grateful for that. It is hard enough being sad without witnesses, I don’t think I could have survived the shame.

I was trapped under your shadow and there was no escape, no redemption. Your selfish fantasies swallowed me whole, and life began to move on without me. Have you ever experienced anything so horrifying as time passing by without you? You became the centre of my universe and gravity took its sweet toll. I was a trophy on your cabinet, and mornings were your curse. It’s hard to ignore the rainy days and the masochist in me continues to indulge in sad songs that remind me of you. But it doesn’t hurt the same now; it reminds me I’m forgetting you. The presents you bought me are scattered across the house, I pretend I don’t notice.

The sun rises even when you’re not here, and the moon is as beautiful as the first night we met. It is winter again and I’m beginning to miss your warmth, the feel of your skin pressed to mine, your hot breath, your whispers, your lies. I miss your lies the most. I wonder if you’re finally alone in the big empty house you’ve chased all your life, do the echoes make you happy? When your hair starts to look more like clouds than the sun, will you dye it? Your eyes will blur, you will need reading glasses, but you won’t be reading to me in bed anymore. Your shadows will start to look taller than you,  you’ll find yourself lacking in good company, and you will recall my words. I left you, remember? She won’t stay for you either, deep down you know this.

Your empty compliments left me exhausted, constantly chasing your praises, trying to be good enough. But now I don’t dream of the foolish boy who broke my heart and I don’t curse the universe for letting it happen. I am grateful, did you know that? You made me stronger, did you know that?

It feels so good to say I am happy now without being anxious that I will jinx it, or scared that it will be snatched away again. It is different this time. I am a sinner not a lover; I am no one’s beggar queen. I have walked through hell with a smile and endured the longest nights, the coldest memories, but damn it, he was right, there is always hope. I have found my own happiness and I intend to keep it. I have done things I’m not proud of, but pride is the enemy, pride is the mistake. I have been bent but I am not broken, I am stronger than those who knocked me down.