Serendipity

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

Tag: lit

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.

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. 

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.

129

Maybe I get lonely sometimes, so I wait for you to ask if I want you to stay. I always want you to stay. Maybe I want to kiss you and have you tell me I’m lovely so I can remember how to be that good person again. Maybe I want you to tell me I’m the best, so I can feel worthy because it’s a feeling I’m unfamiliar with. Maybe I don’t understand why that’s important, so you certainly don’t need to worry about it.

Maybe I wanted to kiss you like tomorrow didn’t exist and this was our last chance. Maybe I wanted to feel butterflies in my stomach when our lips touched so I could forget all the bad things that have ever happened. Maybe one good kiss could fix everything and I could be okay again.

Maybe you could leave a scar on me too for me to remember you by. Maybe when the sun rises you’ll think of me and remember my apology. Maybe we could hold hands on the beach and enjoy the daylight. Maybe you could rustle my hair like you wanted to touch me but lacked an excuse. Maybe you could put your arms around me and make me feel safe. Maybe you could make me smile in a way that doesn’t feel like crying.

All these maybes point to goodbye in the end. I’m already getting ready to never see you again. I always prepare for the worst but life has always exceeded expectations. Sometimes it just helps having you there, someone to be silent with. Maybe you don’t have to say a single word, for me to fall in love again.

108

Monday morning I woke up and felt like screaming. Another week of what ought to be the ‘best time of my life’  lied ahead of me in mockery. It occurs to me that I am young and healthy, that a sickly, more unfortunate person would give anything to trade lives with me, yet the thought offers me no peace. I sit alone with quiet contempt at the world, suffocating under the weight of my own guilt and invented misery.

Tuesday I gambled away daylight in the library. Searching for the perfect book so I could connect with someone else’s imaginary friends because mine were too scary. I sat in the softest chair I could find and let my thoughts wander through the pages of fictitious agony. I hid my face behind the cover so no one could see that I was lonely. I wanted someone who understood, not a stranger’s pity.

Wednesday afternoon I tried to seek comfort in sleep. I put on some soothing music because the silence is too awful when I miss you breathing next to me.  I looked at my phone again and decided not to delete your number because it wouldn’t fix anything. Some time in between loving you and hating you my brain had committed those digits to memory.

Thursday night I went to the beach with a man who wanted me. He was charming and polite, or at least well adjusted enough to pretend to be, and I was tired enough to believe. We held hands and I wondered what you were doing with your evening. He gave me his jacket when I started to shiver, unaware that it was his touch that froze me. He kissed me and I felt nothing.

Friday I said no when he asked to see me again. I knew I had no feelings left and you had taken the last part of me worth keeping. I was exhausted from not thinking about you, and convinced that faking another smile would kill me. I didn’t need to kiss him twice to know I would never love him, and I’ve lived enough to know that men who fall for damaged goods are full of cruelty.

Saturday I was invited to go drinking. A chance to drown my sorrows or at least numb the pain, and of course, dance with the devil. Clever men claim they drink to make others more interesting. Maybe I’m not clever enough, or perhaps it’s because I’m not a man, but I never thought ten shots of tequila made anyone less boring. Alcohol only ever made me dumb enough to tolerate the idiocy.

Sunday I went to the grocery store to pick up dinner. I walked down the cleaning aisle and waited for the voices. A bottle of clear liquid with large letters that read AMMONIA caught my eye, and I pictured myself chasing it with a bottle of Jack. One to destroy the body; one to mend the soul. I looked at the price tag and realised for $7.99 I’d never have to face Monday again.

107

I want to find the tired looking boy who opened his door one evening and was caught off guard by my sleeping attire. I want to feel his arms around me, awkwardly seeking the safest position to hold a stranger closely as such unusual circumstances demanded. I want to tell him that night was as close to perfect as a mistake could be.

I want to hold him accountable, for the gentle way he kissed me. If he had done it with more urgency and less naturally perhaps I’d remember how my clothes fell to the floor. There’s no time to think when your legs are wrapped around someone’s neck, everything is driven by instinct. I thought he was no different from the others, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I should have known, I should have run.

I want to help him remember who he might’ve been, if she hadn’t interrupted so rudely. If we could take back every kiss, every touch, would we feel less lonely? Nothing truly compares to the heartache one feels for a broken dream. If we could alter the way it all happened so fast, would we avoid the beginning? Or would we repeat the same mistakes just to experience the intoxicating pain of loving too heavily?

I want to show up at his apartment in the evening with a bottle of whiskey, wearing my oversized coat with nothing underneath. I want to leave in the morning with his dignity in my purse, knowing he won’t even miss it because he was fully reimbursed. I want to tell him I wrote a note saying “I love you” but I threw it in the trash before I left because I thought it meant too little. It felt too transparent, and he deserved better than that.

I want to release our anger in the most primal fashion, and leave marks on each other that others will question. Every false promise, every hurtful word we’ve thrown during the violence deserves an inch of broken skin, till all the debt is repaid in bloody vengeance. I want to soak my wounds in salted waters and drown myself in his forgiveness.

I want to hate this monster we created through mutual carelessness, but no one will teach me how to hate something composed of love and memories. I want to make sense of how this ending came to be, but I’m grasping at straws and he’s no longer with me. I want to stop questioning my own questions only to arrive at nothing.

I want to run into him ten years later in the streets of Paris with a child in my arms and a smile on my lips. He’ll buy me a coffee and tell me he missed me. I’ll laugh because the years have taught me there is no real difference between missing someone and loving them. If only I could laugh at us now, for our fatal misunderstanding of words spoken incorrectly.

100

The church bells ring, each chime tugging at your heartstrings, bringing you back to the present, waking you from a bad dream only to confront your worst nightmare. There’s nowhere to run this time.

A familiar song is playing in the background, a soft voice singing a beautiful melody. You recognise the tune, something she would hum absentmindedly, when she was still with you.

Was. It feels like forever ago since she sat beside you and rested her head on your shoulders, knowing full well it was a burden you couldn’t carry, but dreaming of the day you would become dependable. She breathed love and survived on wishful thinking.

She kept her promises. She would set you free, deliver you serenity at the cost of her own sanity. She didn’t even say goodbye, how cruel, to deny you even that. Remember to hate her for that too.

A closed casket, to hide the shame. She had been punished for her sincerity for far too long, and she had the scars to show for it. The final scar delivered by a lonely rose, thorns so sharp they bit deep, blood converting the red to crimson, it was the prettiest thing. She wanted you to have it. Another memento.

They think you heartless, or stoic, but you alone know the truth. Tears serve no justice to true sorrow, and what you feel is more than grief. Grief has a beginning and an end, but regret stays with you forever. You should have listened to the words she didn’t say. The casket is lowered, the evidence buried, and nothing will ever bring her back. Her smile, her warmth, her soul, lost forever, along with the memories she assured you she would forget.

The world is a cold hard place, and you turned your back on the sun. You will never hold her again, never brush her hair, never kiss her lips, never hold her hand, never feel the softness of her skin. Sometimes fools think dying for love shows sincerity. She was foolish till the end. Tell me, what did you think she meant by never?

99

When I was deep in my depression, I thought about suicide constantly. 

Wake up; should I kill myself today?

Eat breakfast; why am I still alive?

Go to class; why am I here?

Cross the road; hope the bus hits me.

Go home; grab a knife.

Sleep; hope it lasts forever. 

It was a battle every day, reminding myself what I had left to live for. When I looked around, there wasn’t very much. So I asked her, almost selfishly, to give me some hope. “What do you live for?”

She replied in her stunning accent, something I could never forget: 

As individuals we each have our own unique aura, and if you are close enough, compatible enough, and care enough to allow yourself to open up, you can feel the energy that flows around you, fusing together as our thoughts intertwine. Right now, being connected to you, is why I’m here. I’m here for you. I live for you. 

I didn’t understand her at the time, so I cried more and pretended I knew. But I finally understand now. It doesn’t matter how much people hurt you, how much pain they inflict, how many scars they leave, how many hearts they break. You could hate almost everyone, you could despise a few, they could deserve it, they probably do. But beyond all that, a simple gesture can remind us that human connection remains the most important thing to our existence. No matter how comfortable we are with ourselves, how happy we may be alone, we all crave someone to share that connection with. We all live for each other whether we like it or not. We are only human.

So if you’re reading this, I live for you. 

98

If there was a door in front of you, that could lead to heaven or hell, but you didn’t know which, would you knock?

She did. She knocked, and he answered all her prayers.

She thought heaven would be hell without you; what a simple girl, what an absurd misunderstanding.

It must have taken you years to perfect the art of deception. You filled her heart with your lies and deceit, gently guiding her towards the edge of the cliff with your reluctant promises of a wonderful life together. But at least when you pushed her, it was by the courtesy of your own hand. You refused to miss the show; how noble of you, to provide a comforting touch at the moment of her demise.

Sadly, there was no applause, no crowds to gaze upon the pretty fragments of your masterpiece. All the blood and broken bones, you were the only witness to her fall. Such a spectacular flight, you wanted cameras and lights, you demanded cheers for an encore.

She’s looking up at you timidly, and to your great horror and regret, you saw more than confusion and despair. There was sorrow, there was fear, but there was still love and trust, and when she questioned you with desperate silence, her eyes beckoning you to explain, you knew the exposition had to be good or she’d make you suffer too. You knew she’d make you feel pain, and hate, and spite, and all the other things that make good men break. But you’re not a good man, are you, sir? Not just a moment of weakness, but a lifetime’s worth, and like a coward, you tried to blame her.

That’s all you’ve given her, that’s all she has left: your sadistic lies. She feels them under her skin, where you’ve touched her. She feels them when she remembers your kiss, when she craves the taste of your lips. She feels them when she’s torn to pieces, when you look at her with those innocent blue eyes. She feels them when she writes, when she’s alone at night. She feels them in the ink, as she watches it dry, she feels the permanence of their effects and she tries with all her might not to cry. Your lies were just too good, she felt they had to be immortalised.

89

Laugh at her. Isn’t she funny?

Doesn’t it feel good to kick her when she’s down? Pure sadistic pleasure, don’t worry, it’s human nature.

Oh look, a butterfly tattoo, must be daddy issues!
Oh hey, is that a scar I see? Well that’s just not good enough for me.

She’s cold to the others. She’s numb to the world. She picked you, lit a fire to warm your heart, and you watched it burn her dreams into dust. She’ll learn to carry the weight of your curse. The pain is no longer a burden; it sets her free.

Don’t look into her eyes. Don’t bother. She’s hidden it so well, you won’t see it. You battered a battered woman but behind the veiled vacancy there’s still a star that shines, a light that refuses to go out. But you won’t see it again.

She won’t accept your pity. She doesn’t want to be saved. You begin to shift the blame – it’s her fault, for not grasping the hands that reached out. You’re just like the others now, so blinded by your own arrogance that you can’t see the truth. You don’t understand how many times she fell. How many have promised to catch her. How their lies have filled her life. How they disappeared so conveniently when she hit the ground and broke for the last time. Does this make you feel better? Do you feel less guilty now? Because you didn’t break her. Because you can’t break a broken heart.

You saw the scars, witnessed the tears. You tried to look away; it wasn’t a pretty sight. You heard the whispers, suffered the screams; so now you think you know her. But can you feel her despair, can you predict her verdict? Can you change her fate, or will you watch her drown? Will you hold her head down, so it won’t take long?

Her breathing turns shallow, time slows down. You’ll only love her when she’s gone.

 

88

I’m beginning to think I’ve been wrong all along. 

Perhaps love shouldn’t be free, and I shouldn’t have loved so carelessly. I should have charged, extravagantly, then maybe I wouldn’t be in this mess. I wouldn’t be so drained, so empty, so lost, so cold.

There’s nothing left for me here. 

No happy endings. No timeless romance.

I can only love in dreams, and even then I dream of tragedy. I dream of star crossed lovers, unrequited love, mistakes and untimely misunderstandings. My own failures haunt me, stealing the last symptom of a smile, leaving me with only bitter memories and finally, abandoning me as I choke on tears. 

87

I can’t remember our last kiss. I know it happened, but so much else was happening it’s all just a blur. I don’t know where, when, or how it occurred.

Did you kiss my forehead? Or my cheek? Or was it on the lips? Did you look me in the eyes before your lips touched mine? Did you know it would be the last time? You never think the last time is the last time.

I don’t remember our last kiss. But I remember the first. I remember being pleasantly surprised. I remember thinking how soft your lips were and worried that mine were chapped. It had been a while since I kissed someone, and I wasn’t sure I remembered how. You reminded me how.

You made it so easy, so effortless, to fall in love with you. Coming back to your place from work, falling into your arms, being greeted by your undivided affection, I thought it was forever. I wanted it to last forever.

So tell me what I’ve done to deserve this. All this pain, this unending heartache, this heaviness that’s crushing me, this knot on the inside that makes it impossible to speak.

How did you become so cold? Teach me.

How do you just stop loving someone? Tell me.

How do I let you go? Let me.

86

That first drop of blood. Euphoric.

You’d never understand. 

It takes a while for the pain to kick in, and then it all starts making sense. All those scars you never meant to make, just to prove a point, to show him what he’d done. 

Perhaps he never meant to hurt you. Maybe you were just collateral damage. An accident he regretted but never bothered to fix, to make right, because men are lazy that way.

You learn to love the ache. The subtle pain of a healing cut. It reminds you that all of it is real. That life goes on, with or without you. But the scars don’t make you stronger, they just make you easier to break. 

When you let someone in, when you admit your darkest secrets and deepest fears, they take a part of you. You lose a part of yourself every time you love someone, and they never have the decency to return what they didn’t deserve. 

So don’t stand there with those innocent blue eyes and tell me I’m strong and beautiful. 

I’m not.

I’m broken. I’m damaged goods. I don’t know how to fix myself and you’re not here anymore. That hurts the most. 

85

You don’t understand what you’ve done. You don’t know what you’ve thrown away. It hasn’t hit you yet, but it will. You think you’ll have more chances, but you don’t.

I could have made you happy. I would have loved you forever. I wanted to build a life together for us, me and you against the whole wide world. No longer afraid because we had each other.

It hurts to love you, you make it so. You say I love you more than I should, maybe more than you deserve, but know that it’s not infinite. We are not infinite. I can feel it fading, the part of me that still wants to kiss you. You’re running out of time, do you know that?

Life goes on, time doesn’t care about your heartache. I can’t stand here and wait for you forever. Life’s too short to not be with the one you love, and it’s the worst kind of cruelty to make me wait for you if you have no intention of showing up.

They say you regret the things you didn’t do the most. That’s the only reason I’m still here, waiting. Because despite everything, I still want you. Even if it’s a mistake, it’s a mistake I’m willing to make. I want to make more mistakes with you. I want it so much I would let you break my heart all over again.

Is it too much to ask for you to try? You say you love me so why not take a leap of faith? I’ve never let you down before, so why are you so afraid now? Do you really want to be alone forever, with nothing but bitter memories and regret? To spend another decade hurting people who love you and running from the truth, till you’re so tired it finally catches up to you?

Or perhaps you’re looking for another. Someone with no scars, and less sadness in their smile. But what will you tell her? Could you look her in the eyes and tell her the truth? Will she still love you then? I guess she will. After all, I still do.

 

 

 

84

Are we afraid of death or of loneliness?

It’s ironic how we spend our lives shunning and running, burning bridges, only to find our own company deeply loathsome, and realise we didn’t need all that space after all.

Fill in the gaps.
Smile when you kiss me, I can tell.
Show me what’s real, and I’ll stay for more.

Share the good times, the bad, the ones in between, know that I’m here to stay.

Haven’t you hurt me enough?
The damage is done, the pain will fade eventually, but the scars are eternal.

We all need someone. A shoulder to cry on, one who can hear the words you don’t say.

Tell me the truth. Did you ever love me or was I always a fool?
Tell me quickly. I’m tired of all these games.
Tell me now, and I’ll love you forever.