Serendipity

Was I born a masochist or did society make me this way? I demand unconditional love and complete freedom. That is why I am terrible.

Tag: loss

243

Why do we love the sunset? Do we admire the colours or do we cherish what it represents? Another day, you’ve survived another. There are days that are easy and there are days when you lose the fight. There are days you breathe peace and days that you’re lost to the storm.

I should have kept quiet. I should have seen the signs, known what was coming. I’ve seen love like this before, I’ve tasted the bloody roots, I’ve left a mark or two. He remembers every bit of nightmare I put him through. Our addictions were never as problematic as our affections for each other. In this twisted world you can be proud of specific substance abuse. You could mistake it for achievement, you needed to reach a certain level of success to have these sorts of problems. Only the poor are degenerate alcoholics. When the whiskey is top shelf you can hide behind the facade of good taste.

Whenever I lose a friend I find myself wondering how they would feel if I were to die in an accident the very next day. Would they regret not picking up the phone? What if they never have a chance to speak the truth? Suddenly I find myself filled with a perverse sense of satisfaction at the idea of denying them that opportunity. I fantasize about having the last word.

But I don’t really want the last word. I don’t like to let go of people. I still believe that there is meaning to be found in this world. So I find myself extending the olive branch, time and time again to those who may not deserve it. I let myself get hurt over and over again by those who have let me down before, on the off chance that this time it might be different. Because there is always the perfect possibility that it could be different. I let my crippling depression and my never ending optimism compete for control, and I am accustomed to losing the battle. I have my scars to prove it.

But I love you I love you I love you. I could never let you go. You break me but I can’t walk away. I am shattered and yet I am still. Be the sun, be the stars, be broken but unbent. Be the song, be the wind, be the rose and the thorn. I have loved you, I did my best.

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241

I need constant reminders that this is meaningless. It doesn’t matter how important you think you are, how real all of it is, there will come a day when we’re all gone and none of this will matter to anyone. It will be like we never existed at all. Billions of years will feel like a split second to the creator of this madness, if there even is a creator.

You could mean the world to someone and then in the blink of an eye mean nothing at all. I had watched her fade into a ghost of who she used to be, buried under his shadows. I let her convince me that she was happy and I believed her, I thought love came in different shapes and sizes. Some were always more volatile than others. I sat by idly as our values fell out of sync and I let her slip away. The nausea you feel when your entire world is crumbling but you can only watch it burn. I let the smoke swallow me.

Don’t you remember? He is not your king, your maker; he is fire, he burns. But you are the sun, you are the sun. Don’t you remember? How it was to be carefree, to not feel the weight of his world on your shoulders. He breathes lies. Now you are the one. You are the one. Don’t you remember? When we laughed under the stars, when our hearts beat as one. But life goes on. Life goes on.

Now I have loved you and failed you. I have found you and lost you. He followed your heart and there was no space for two. He will break you then save you. He will hurt you then mend you. He will crush you then raise you. He will love you and kill you.

206

he says i’m all teeth and sharp edges
and soft skin doesn’t make up for the bruises i leave in the mornings
we fight we scream we kiss and wait for the guilt to wash in
we pretend we never wanted any of this to happen
i smile so much these days my cheeks are always aching and i never tell him that i have to bite my tongue to keep in the poison
i don’t show him the bullets under my skin

i tell him purple is my favourite colour but i don’t explain the reason
he watches the bruises blend in and tells me i’m too broken
i’m fractured i’m fragments but i’m stronger at the seams
i’ve been sewed up and smashed to pieces and glued together again
so maybe i am impossible to live with but you will never see me give in

he says i’m jagged knives and sinking stones but there’s no turning back now
and still waters run deep but he’s still waiting to see me angry
we poke and prod each others wounds till we’re both raw and bleeding
he tries to kiss it better but pride always get in the way of healing
i don’t show him the hollowness in my chest

i tell him rainy days are my favourite because i get to stay in but i don’t say i miss him
he shows up on my doorstep with roses at 10pm and i yell at him for no god damn reason (i yell at him because i love him)
i ask him if my hands are steady and i play a tune that can’t be forgotten will he still remember me when his shirt has finally been washed so many times that my scent is no longer stuck to the fabric
i just wanted to be his favourite

he says i’m tired of your crying and manipulation
i didn’t fucking sign up for this (i’m sorry, i’m sorry, i’m sorry)
i laugh and laugh and laugh and it comes out in frozen stitches and silence completes the spaces he used to fill in
we pack our bags we never say goodbye and i forget our composition
i don’t tell him that i love him

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.

 

184

You’re trying to convince me that life has changed, sufficient time has passed, we have moved on. You’re back at your folks’ place in the cramped trailer in the yard that shakes when the rain is heavy. It’s filled with your little sister’s old toys and you’re watching her grow out of her childhood. You pray that no one will take her innocence away; you know someone will.

You meet a pretty girl with brown locks and long dark lashes, your least favourite thing about her is that she drinks the same coffee as me. Her lips always curl into a smile when you kiss her, and you see in her a better lover, a gentler love. But when she falls asleep your mind always drifts to memories of me, and your thoughts are never kind. A part of you dreams of hurting me. You know you’ll never deserve her; you don’t tell her this.

Your mother asked about me once and the look on your face was enough to answer all her questions. Your family remembers me as the sweet girl who loved you. They never saw my anger, they never knew your pain. They didn’t witness your crimes, and I never let you share the blame. I stood by your side and watched you charm your life away, the golden boy with the perfect smile, and I couldn’t bear to shatter your pride, so I shattered mine. You let go of my hand when I was grasping for straws; you laughed when I was swallowed by the sea.

Your sister is in love with the boy next door and you are afraid he will hurt her the same way you hurt me. Karma did not disappoint. You caught her in the bathroom lending substance to her heartache and when you watched him slice her heart right open, you caught your own reflection. When she dug her nails into your hand and mumbled apologies you learn how little the word “sorry” is really worth. You remember your own apologies; you feel guilt for the first time.

I’m chain smoking on a hotel balcony in the heart of New York city, with a stranger’s arms wrapped around my shoulders. He smells just like you. I close my eyes, inhale the cancerous fumes and pretend he looks like you too. I learn to settle for amateur imitations. He likes to joke that I’m broken just the right amount to make me a wild child, and toxic just enough to be addictive. I don’t tell him I am poison; I try to forget you’re my antidote.

176

Love is just pain, darling, that’s why all my lovers hurt me.

Once your happiness becomes dependent on another soul, you’re done, do you understand that? We all fall into the trap of believing that a love like ours ought to last forever, something that feels so good should never end. But we’re not in control, not really. It’s never up to us. We like to think we’re in charge, but feelings come and go and logic has no say in the matter. You tried to convince me once that love was a choice, but baby, I’ve never been a fan of pretending.

Four years ago I asked him to come home and he told me I am incapable of love, and I believe him now. I think I may have a crooked heart. Five years ago he met a girl with a carefree smile and no scars on her body, but she lost her way and I don’t think she’s ever coming back, my darkness would swallow her whole. One minute I was his everything and the next minute, there was nothing I could do or say to fix his mistakes. He called me a mistake, so I continued his legacy.

I watch the same love stories play in repeat, and no one ever has the courage to let go till it’s too late. We all got so damn good at finding disguises and excuses. Marriage, houses, children; reasons to stay. Then sometimes a terrible thing can happen, and you find those old feelings again but they’re for someone new. Or you miss that feeling so much you try to mimic it in the shadows of others who are just as lonely. We are so desperate for love we lose ourselves in the chase. I’ve lost too much. Don’t come looking for me.

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.

171

I could feel the cracks before you could see them. We kept pouring more love on top, hoping it would fill in the gaps but all it did was draw attention to the imperfections, and before long it became painfully obvious that we were not going to find a happy ending.

I told you I was tired of jumping through hoops just trying to stay sane, but you laid out all the obstacles and pretended they weren’t impossible for someone like me. I’ve learned to be selfish and enjoy the little things now. I’ve learned to say no to boys like you.

It hurt, but I never told you. I was tired of fighting to be heard, fighting for the right to feel when all around me love appeared easy. I say I want a man who will never make me cry but what lunacy! Such a man does not exist, not now, not ever. I say I want loneliness but it feels worse than crowded city seats and I envy the girl shedding tears behind her book in the corner bus stop, how wonderful to still know what sadness feels like. I say I want to be alone but truthfully I wanted you, I wanted us, together, somewhere, somehow, but I had no faith. He took the last piece, and no matter how hard you tried, you could never fill the holes in my heart. I don’t blame you.

I used to whisper I love you because I worried it would feel cheap if you heard me all the time. I wanted our children to be more like you, idealistic, hopeful, but the jaded cynic in me saw that we were never meant for do or die. The hopeless romantic in me knew that if I held your hand, I would never want to let go. The coward in me ran.

I opened another pack of cigarettes and told myself this is the last. I said the same thing last week. Two years ago every cigarette was the last. Maybe two years from now I’ll move onto cartons. I learned to shrug my shoulders when I realised it was easier than saying no, and that day I saw you do the same, I realised survival was our instinct. I knew you would be fine without me, and I will continue to survive, but please don’t assume that it was easy. Saying no to love is not easy.

Though we laugh and pretend the hard part is over, you and I both know we have been hurting for longer than we can remember. It makes no difference that sometimes when I smile I’m thinking of you, and sometimes when you smile I remember to breathe again, because you could never give me what I wanted so I had to stop trying to fit where I didn’t belong. I wanted you to stop making promises you couldn’t deliver, because words have too much power over me. You had too much power over me. But I beg you to remember the good times, because those memories are precious, even if they’re haunted.

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.

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.

158

You never leave a note. You don’t dial his number and leave one last missed call. You don’t administer that sort of guilt, because you know it would eat him alive.

You don’t say goodbyes, you don’t cry silently in public, you don’t show any signs of weakness that will allow your loved ones to blame themselves.

You don’t smell the roses, you don’t watch the sunrise, you don’t search for the silver lining that was never there in the first place.

You don’t apologise for the past, you don’t fear for the future, and you no longer trace your mistakes until hell is the darkness inside your own mind.

You will always be afraid, but there’s no denying the fundamental differences between a coward and a coward who pulls the trigger. The latter can be admired for taking control, however twisted that may be, but at least they were brave enough to conclude their own fate. 

This is about control, precision, and patience.

This is not about the pain, this is not to end the suffering; all of that can be endured, and they have been.

It’s the emptiness, the hollowness in my chest that’s taking over, this incurable disease called loneliness, it makes me want to die.

Everyone gives me advice about how to live my life but no one notices I’m not really alive.

It will always be easier to break things than to mend them. It will always be easier to lie than to face the truth. It will always be easier to hurt someone than to love them. I have always understood this, but somewhere in between forgiving the unforgivable, I found myself an outsider again. It is exhausting to be kind.

It’s the smiling, the constant smiling that makes my face ache. A pathetic defence mechanism that is weak at best, and masochistic in reality.

I have been torn into pieces and my blood is on the hands of a hero. Even when I’m gone, he will try to deny it. He will say it was not his fault. He never meant to hurt me.

I have been torn into pieces by lovers and friends. I feel so tired, I could sleep for an eternity.

I am waiting to return to the nothingness I was before consciousness took away the bliss of ignorance. Maybe my leaving will mean something, to some people, for some time. But they will follow me one by one and we will all return to stardust and rust. We will be forever apart, but together always.

I have faced my demons and I have lost. But this does not mean I am weak, only that my demons are stronger than yours.

153

i am creating a revolution
with skin and bones
still unbroken, untainted by scars that threatened to win

i am cleaning the residue
stained memories
silent evidence of who we could have been

i am drawing a picture
frames of disjointed past
seeking redemption for mistakes you pushed me to make

i am living a life
with no shoulders to lean on
tired of the blind leading the blind

i am hoarding sins
no one is here to save me
from the masochist who craves destruction

i am composing melodies
lullabies don’t lull me to sleep
the way your voice did

i am fighting fire
with fire
tearing down walls of insincere apologies

i am cheating death
leaving only ashes
to deal with unanswered questions 

i am luring loneliness
carved from leftover heartache
it will take more than a lifetime to forget me

144

Last year, you broke my spine when you spat out the words “I don’t love you anymore”, and I cowered under the table while you tore our lives apart. The seams were drenched in my blood, you threw the shreds at my feet and watched me weep.

I had grown to love the mug that was big enough for two, and even when I threw it at the ground I knew I was destroying a piece of myself too. I wish we hadn’t fused our lives together so eagerly, now there are too many things that remind me of you.

I ran my nails down the small of your back and dug them deep into your skin, wanting to leave a mark but knowing it would fade too quickly to leave any lasting impression. I drew my name onto your chest and whispered “Please don’t leave, not yet, please just stay” but she wiped me away and you told me it was too late.

Those last few months we had soldiered on like it was our duty to be calm and twisted. I confess, I had read so many love stories I thought we’d be strong enough to move mountains. But the truth came crashing down when it became obvious, we couldn’t even climb a hill without pointing fingers and appointing blame.

I spent New Years Eve cleaning out my closet, throwing out the ugly shirts you thought I looked good in, while the songs we used to listen to filled up my thoughts without my permission and one glass of wine had me drowning in reminiscence. I risked a glance at the mirror and saw a skinny girl with holes in her eyes instead of windows. Suit up, put on your armour, this is gonna hurt.  

This year I will learn how to be alone. I will become accustomed to the silence, to the absence of phone calls and text messages, to never seeing your name on my screen again. I will forge emails that feign forgiveness, learn a new sort of redemption, and promise not to harm another soul by cruel omission.

You will always be the strongest burden, the rock that tries to pull me under while I’m learning to swim. I sought you out in all the darkness and now you’ve stolen my light. Somewhere, someone is blowing out my candles.

I discovered a new name and find I prefer it. I left behind my old mistakes, drawing attention away from my scars with black nail polish and bright red lipstick.

This year our war won’t hurt so much, you’ll kiss a new set of lips and I’ll try to forget the way you tasted so cool and sweet during the summer we spent together. When winter comes my legs will be wrapped around our old tangled sheets and he’ll say my name the wrong way. I’ll think about you and imagine her, all her softness pressed against your strength, I’ll wonder how long it’ll take you to break her.

When you fall from the stairs and break your leg, they put you in a comfortable bed and mend your bones. But when I fell from your arms and broke my heart, no one taught me how to keep breathing. The way you say my name makes me weak, and there are not enough things that remind me of you.