Serendipity

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

Tag: life

207

The problem is the profound influence he had on me, his ideas forged me into part of who I am. I am no longer able to separate the girl I was before I met him with the woman I became after he left.

He understood me, the parts of me that even I didn’t fully understand. I had spent most of my life subliminally championing the idea that being misunderstood made me interesting, but it took him seconds to dismantle my mask. I wanted to be mysterious, but he refused to give me that courtesy. I despised intimacy, he found a way to get close anyway. We found in each other something that completed us, we loved each other when we were both unlovable. I built myself a new home with his arms wrapped around me, and I thought forever was a promise meant for keeping.

But waking up in the morning to that empty bed, all that space, I felt like I slept on needles and every piece of my skin was burning. All my mistakes came hammering down, drilling into my brain and hell is the special pain I had invited into my life, hell is knowing I am no longer permitted to speak your name.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

177

This is how you kill someone: You don’t talk to them, you pretend they don’t exist. This is how you killed me.

10 months later and I’m still erasing your existence, throwing away things that you’ve touched, letters that I wrote for you, presents you gifted to me back when I was still your treasure and life was not so unforgiving. I thought I left you behind in that one bedroom apartment and all the memories would be kept there, but two summer flings couldn’t shake the chills you left inside this battered heart, they couldn’t steady my heartbeat.

Spring cleaning always ends with me deleting more photos, and keeping the ones I might want to look at one more time some day, just in case. The more buttons I click the more I realise that somewhere deep down I never stopped caring about you, but I no longer recognise the happy strangers in our photos. I don’t know what I’d give up to see you again and hear you say my name, tell me I’ve been dreaming, tell me I’m worth saving. Eight months ago you saw me at the back of the bar drinking myself into the corner and you said I was a fallen angel and you were too corrupt to be my home.

Five months from now I’ll probably be too busy missing you to notice the sweet boy who served his soul to me on a silver platter, and when I forget to catch him, our mistakes will finally have new collateral damage. 10 months later and I still hate hearing your name, the wounds you left never healed completely and your words still sting. I am struggling to find untouched skin that hasn’t been marked as your territory, and I’m too busy keeping the blemishes you left to let anyone else kiss me.

Ten years ago the decisions I had to make didn’t all feel like fatal mistakes, and not every step was seeped in your poison. Two months ago I thought I saw you in the streets, it was only a shadow, yet enough to make me weep. 12 months ago you began to fall out of love with me, I saw the signs before you even knew, it wasn’t the first time I’d seen love dying. 10 months later and I am your paper ghost, scratching down our hopeless stories so that some day you may grieve for who I was, who we could have been.

This is how you kill someone: You love them,  then you leave them. This is how I’ll kill you.

175

The first time I went to your apartment neither of us expected me to stay the night. I ran down to the convenience store and picked up a $2 toothbrush but left make-up stains all over your pillow case. When I woke up, a part of me panicked when you weren’t around, but you came back and handed me the best coffee I’d drank in months and the taste lingered long after I drained the cup.

Since you’ve been gone, I sit alone in my room, hands wrapped around myself tight, no mascara stains, no foundation masks, and I’m wondering if her skin feels the same. I wonder if she knows how to move to your rhythm, are you in sync? Does she know you hate it when she messes up your hair, does she kiss you the right way? Does she taste different or does she remind you of me anyway? Does her hair smell like girly shampoo or that strange coconut brew I left in your bathroom on purpose? Does she put bubbles in your bath, and does her laughter remind you of the ocean?

Since you’ve been gone, I’m not so picky anymore. You know, loneliness has a way of nipping that fucker right in the bud. I settle for strangers who know how to sit in comfortable silence, and when they joke about hurting me I almost wish they weren’t empty threats. These days when I think of your smile it reminds me of summer dreams and wildfire, loving you was the most exhausting fantasy. I bent and I twisted and I shed my own skin but none of it was ever good enough, I was never what you were looking for.

Since you’ve been gone, I’m trying harder to be a good person, you know I’ve always wanted to be a good person. But you and the rest of the world keep reminding how much easier it is to be selfish and mean. Cruelty is how you stayed alive, we’re both survivors, and if that’s the string that held us together why did you blame me for falling? I’m not waiting for an apology and I don’t expect anyone else to pick up these pieces. It was vanity, it was weakness, I was narcissistic enough to believe that if I unraveled in your arms you’d be kind enough to catch me. I was trying to prove a sorry point, but all you saw were tears and blood. You’re not coming back this time; there is not enough skin left for you to love me.

 

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.

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.

167

When I was 16 you stumbled into my life with all the youth and innocence of a precocious child and told me I was your map, I was your compass, but I didn’t know how to guide you when I was still searching for my own way home. I pushed you away, I left you drifting like a lost boy. I was terribly selfish, sometimes I think I still am. I am sorry that I wasn’t around when you really needed me, but I couldn’t bear to see you cry and it hurt me to know that I was the one doing that to you. I prayed you’d meet someone who was easier to love than I was. It is even harder to love me now, no one since you has done it quite as well.

I’ve been trying to change but part of me feels like I’m still looking for the girl that you fell in love with. Even though we haven’t spoken in four years and I even made myself forget your number eventually, your voice still haunts me. I remember our first kiss, sitting on that bench by the ocean, listening to Iris, we forgot the whole world. I never told you that you were a bad kisser and you never got any better at it, but that’s probably my fault too. I was never good at communication.

Sometimes I’ll sift through my closet and find the box that has your stars littered inside, hundreds of pieces of paper that you had poured your heart into, but I had poured your love into the ocean. I think you told me to keep it but even with your consent, I still felt like a thief. You said you’ll always be waiting but three years ago I heard you had finally moved on, and I should have been more happy for you but I wasn’t.

There are days when I wonder what if I had fought harder, what if I had just told you everything that was hurting inside. Maybe you would have been the one to leave me and things would have been quite different. Maybe you would have been the one to break me; I imagine you would have been kinder than him. You were always a gentle soul.

Two years ago I met a boy who reminded me of you and wanted all the same things you had promised me once. You both saw us in a small suburban home, surrounded by a white picket fence, and you had wanted to grow old with me. I don’t think you knew what growing old meant. You hadn’t even grown up yet. I wanted to stay young. I still do. I’m still not the girl you wanted me to be.

A few months ago I heard your name again and she told me ‘he really did love you’, but I wasn’t sure. My mother tells me love lasts forever but love doesn’t seem to last very long for me. My mother has been wrong before. I gave you my heart once, but I don’t think I have the same heart anymore. Maybe the cells have all regenerated and the one that’s beating inside me now is entirely new, or maybe I should have paid more attention in biology instead of skipping class to wrestle in your bed.

Two days ago I should have thought about calling you, but you were no longer on the list of people I trusted and wanted to confide in. We are less than strangers now and I’m sure you wouldn’t even recognise me in a crowded room, it would pain you to find me. I am not sure if I am grateful or disappointed, or both. I have considered every boy who had left a scar on me since I pushed you away to be a part of my redemption, but if you knew you’d probably laugh and say “I told you so.”

When I think of the life you had planned for us I wonder if maybe I am not the type that’s built for happy endings. Maybe I am better off alone; not hurting, not living, barely breathing, merely existing. Maybe that is what I deserve.

Pssst, followers~

Thank you guys for following and reading! I don’t say this enough but you have no idea how much I appreciate the lovely comments. Haven’t been feeling that creative lately but I’m sure I’ll write about what’s happened soon, just taking some time to process it.

Also, it’s my birthday this month! May 30, I’ll be turning 23! Sigh… I feel so old. Went to a bar last week and for the first time ever I didn’t get asked for ID, still not sure how I feel about it. I still feel as immature and confused as I was at 16, but I’m supposed to adult. Just look at me, adulting so hard, adulting all over the place, blogging about my adulting adventures. Welp, this has been a post.

 

Love,

V

166

I told her ‘darling it gets better’ but she didn’t believe me. I wouldn’t have believed it either. But it did. One morning I woke up and the world wasn’t dreary. One day I got out of bed and I didn’t think about calling him, or wanting to hear his voice. I didn’t miss him anymore, not the way I used to.

Time does not heal all wounds, but it does make the pain easier to swallow. I wanted her to believe me, she needed to hear the truth. She needed to know that one day she’d wake up to a mouth waiting to kiss her good morning, from a man who has been missing her while she was sleeping. There will be days when she misses the peace and quiet, but watching her children grow will make these mistakes feel like nothing. I wish I could tell her that the pain is only temporary, but if she didn’t stop destroying what he left over she won’t have a heart left to give to the next one.

It’s about control, because it’s the only thing she has left, because he left holes in her heart and she’s still bleeding, I can see it. So she hides behind bottles and pills till she’s so numb it almost feels better, almost. She makes herself violently sick till all that’s left is skin and bone and the tall boy masquerading as a man in his cheap suit tells her she looks amazing because he’s too busy kissing her collarbones to see that she’s rotting on the inside. But then he leaves in the morning, they all do, and she wakes up to more blood on the sheets and wonders how she’s even still breathing.

Darling, when will you learn to say no? If he doesn’t love you now he won’t learn to love you when you’re 20 pounds lighter. Don’t fall for all that self improvement bullshit, you’re perfect the way that you are. If he doesn’t love you then throw the flowers out and slam the door in his face, don’t give him a chance to explain why he’s selfish. You keep thinking that this pain is just what lovers go through, but I’m here to tell you that love is never supposed to feel this way. If he doesn’t love you then he’s going to hurt you, just like he promised, but you’re stronger than this, so get up and walk away. Don’t waste your faith on a liar’s breath, don’t let me watch you waste away.

If he doesn’t love you, someone else will. I promise.

165

One day you will fall for the right man, and when he touches you it won’t feel like your world is being shattered, and his fingerprints won’t leave bruises like your old flames. You won’t have to count his promises or compare them to regrets, and the way he explores your body will erase your scars. He will leave daisies on your skin with his mouth, and make you smile even when your insides are aching. He will follow you into the darkest corners in your world of sin, and see you for who you truly are. He will bring you joy with his kindness and even when you are alone you’ll no longer feel lonely. And it will feel like someone has reached through your ribcage and found the last piece of your heart that you’d forgotten, and he will make it grow; he will rinse it with his love. 

Histories

I never asked for love. Love was something that came to me as surely as ocean waves, and equally lacking in origin. It brought lust and jealousy, and eventually, hate. I have asked for pain, unrelenting discipline. I have been damned to eternity by your broken promises and easy lies. I know for certain that these sins will not be washed away with time and my sanity will not return at dusk.

I have sinned, I have taken vows in negligence and removed myself from responsibilities carved within. I have fallen, I have lied my way to better days and told you only what you wanted to hear, not what needed to be said.

I kissed your lips, I tasted mint, I tasted Spring and all your forgotten promises, vanished into thin air the moment your arms lifted from her hips. I held my breath, through the games and the tales you didn’t try hard enough to embellish. I wanted to win, ignoring the costs and indulging in my own ignorance. I read the signs but I might as well have been blind.

I have become pale and thin like the girls who look like ghosts instead of faeries, and every time I smile, my memory of yours fades further away till all I see are traces of your violent words scattered across our borders, choking me back, keeping me still.

I have shown you my world, all of it sin and madness. I tell you I have a soul as black as coal and you can’t light a fire in my heart without burning me to the ground. I begged you not to.

I can feel you in the air even when you are nowhere to be found. I have your old t-shirt hidden in the back of my closet, and I pretend its not there when I’m hunting for a new dress to impress my old lovers.

I show them old wounds to ward off new dangers, and though I have bled my share for you, it was not enough. You demanded more but I had nothing left to offer. I was lost in your soliloquies and I am still hiding in the mists of your neglect, your false comforts.

I have served you whiskey straight from the bottle and pretended not to notice your drunken slurs spelling the wrong name. I have sold my darkest hours for a few seconds of hearing you breathe steadily next to me. I traded my darkest secrets to feel the pulse through your veins. I danced to your heartbeat. 

I remember all your weakness and even at your strongest you were never brave enough to be honest with yourself. I sold your troubles for a ticket down memory lane and swallowed every bitter pill just to learn your name.

All that risky business we liked to call love was only selfish lust pretending to be wise. I held your hand when we ran in the rain and you pretended not to notice my tears. They tasted like the ocean. They tasted like our histories.

164

When you left me, did it feel like dying or did you feel alive for the first time? You wiped tears off my face and told me you hated seeing me cry, but I caught your smile when you thought I wasn’t looking. A part of you liked to see me suffer, didn’t you?

When you said you didn’t love me, I was sure that you were lying, or something had clouded your judgment and all I had to do was remind you what made you fall in the first place. I teased and taunted, bribed and begged, but you weren’t just leaving, you had already left.

When you called me a monster, was it like looking in a mirror or was it like seeing me for the very first time? I never took you for a fool but I didn’t want to call you a liar. I still catch myself defending you at times when there’s clearly nothing left to salvage. You cleaned me up only to find you didn’t like me sober.

When you said my name, it felt like coming home for the first time since he passed away. Something in your voice made me feel safe, the same way he always did, and I have not heard it anywhere since. But it didn’t take long for you to replace it with shorter versions like ‘babe’ and I should have noticed I was the only one you didn’t have time for. When you called me darling I should have remembered that only boys meant that sweetly, and you were a man. I was not going to quietly close the curtains to our play, I was going to break your world even if it took the last breath out of me. It’s been a while since someone fought back, hasn’t it? I refused to destroy my life for you, I did not lay down and worship your mistakes. I will not make excuses for your actions or romanticise your cruelty as the innocent acts of a lost boy. I will stand my ground. I will right your wrongs. This ship will not go down easy.

163

Remember the first time your mother met me? I hid behind you, too shy to do anything other than wave hello and wait for you to report back. She said I was “pretty but a bit short, isn’t she?”, we laughed it off as a harmless addition to an ongoing joke I was used to, but neither of us contemplated it could be the beginning of the end to our story.

Remember the day when she took me to her room and ticked off all the reasons why I wasn’t good enough for her only son? Of course you don’t, because I never told you, did I? I let you walk away thinking I had hurt you inexplicably, but I was trying to save us both from unnecessary pain. I was young but not naive enough to think her opinion of me would ever change, not after years of me being on my best behaviour. I understood the value of family, so I sat in silence and did not contradict a single word she said. I listened to her criticise my own and I wanted to tell her, I understood the value of family more than most, and I would make a wonderful mother one day, but she would never be my in law now, not after this. She didn’t want her son to be with someone who came from a damaged home, and I knew I couldn’t be the one to tear up yours. I was not worth it. 

Remember when she took us both to church, hoping that it would awaken something within us? But we just sat at the back with our heads bowed, texted each other and giggled at the absurdity. She was displeased, not with you but only with me, the scarlet woman who led her son astray. I took her child, I stole your innocence, and I was the only one she wanted to blame. It didn’t matter that you were my first, all that meant was you became the first man on a long list of men who made me feel dirty.

Remember when she told me you were always top of your class, you were going to be a lawyer some day, and my grades were just not good enough to be your wife? I couldn’t cook, I couldn’t clean, and if it were up to her you’d be dating my best friend. That was the day I stopped wanting to be someone’s wife some day. You hadn’t done anything wrong but I no longer wanted to be your lover, and let’s be honest, we were never really friends.

Remember when she told me, despite having suffered through depression herself, she’d rather her son was seeing someone ‘normal’, someone happy, someone who didn’t have the problems that I did? She said she wasn’t trying to be cruel or unsympathetic, but she loved her son too much and only wanted the best for him. I was too sad, for too many reasons, I had too many scars. I was not the best.

Remember when I told you I don’t love you anymore? Well I lied, I lied through my teeth and you couldn’t tell, you have no idea how good I am at pretending to be made of ice. Maybe I should have fought for you, maybe you deserved the truth, but the truth is I still love you, and I never really stopped. The truth is, it hurt to leave you, but I was proud. The truth is, losing you left a scar, but it’s my favourite scar now.