Serendipity

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

Tag: lost love

257

I know we’re supposedly not friends anymore. But I’m just having a bad day and I missed you. I don’t know how it ended up this way but I have these moments where I think of something you’d find funny and it kills me a little that I can’t just tell you anymore.

I know we’re supposed to strive to be independent but I took for granted the luxury of knowing I could always count on you. How did we just walk away from that? How did it all fall apart without us noticing? Why didn’t you fight harder for me? I wish I knew how to walk away with the same air of confidence, like you were so sure that everything would be okay. How could you be sure? How was I ever going to recover from you, from us? What if I never did?

We were so young and so convinced we knew the truth, too stubborn to ever admit we might both be wrong. I think about you all the time even when it’s poison, and I lose myself in thoughts of you, I let it consume me. Those memories, your casual smile, the way you shone a light on my soul when I was drowning in darkness. I loved the image of you that I’d perfected, more than she ever knew or suspected.

I wanted to tell you that I might have met the love of my life and I think you’d like him. I imagined you’d have been so proud of me. I wanted you to know that I have only the deepest affections for you, as much a lover as a friend, however disrespectful she might consider that. I trust that I have used up all her contempt regardless, so I might as well offend. You used to find that endearing, but perhaps now you’d say it’s in poor taste.

Oh how we change, how we change. Yet I still love you the same.

230

I’d hate for you to think I’m still writing about you. I’d hate for you to know I’m still thinking about you. I don’t know whether to call it weakness or insanity, to miss someone who has been gone for longer than they were ever around, to wish for a life that would have invited more pain and heartache than I could even imagine. The grass is always greener.

I looked you up again just to read your writings. Something I never bothered doing before because I thought your essays were boring. Now it’s the only connection I have left, your boring way with words. It was always a pleasure talking to you, and I miss that. I’m sorry I forgot that we all have our moments of weakness, I’m sorry I refused to let you have yours. In that moment you lost me. In my moment I lost you. We were never meant to be found.

I’m sorry I invited myself into your life so bizarrely and refused to leave without leaving destruction behind. I wanted to paint the walls bloody so they’d think twice before following. It was a warning to you to not cut so deep. I’m sorry it took so long for me to pick myself up. I could do it again now with all the grace you’d wished for, but it’s never easy to tear apart something you built with love. I’m still learning how to live in the relics.

I think part of me suspects that it will never again be the same. I will never again leave my heart wide open, I will never again kiss without doubt, I will never again love the way I loved you, so devastatingly certain, so sure of a happy ending. Something so intricate was broken inside the day you said goodbye, something delicate and irreparable. Now I see only farewells, be it from betrayal, time, or death, it all ends the same. But I have never been good at letting go. I am still hoping to say hello.

226

I have never been very good at saying no to myself. I’ve always lacked discipline, whether it was piano lessons or that last piece of cake, I always chose the easier option. I would conveniently ‘forget’ to practice, I would eat the last piece of cake and tell myself it was better than having an eating disorder. I pretended my lack of control was something endearing, something that made me easy to be around, easily humored, easy to please.

I’ve never been good at facing reality, of accepting it at face value. Denial comes much more naturally than accepting that I could live a life dull and null of purpose, accepting that I could be just as ordinary as the people I deem to be forgettable. But no matter how much I may crave to be heard, I am just as boring as the people whose names I can’t remember, just as cruel as the people I consider despicable, and just as foolish as the people I have scorned in the past. I have been the narrator and I have been the protagonist. But that wasn’t enough, the attention seeker in me wants to play every part. I want to be the victim, the villain, the heartbroken, the heart-breaker. I want to live every life that is possible, I want to explore every avenue. I want to break all of the rules.

There is a part of me willing trade an ordinary life for an extraordinary love, a will that you cannot reciprocate. There was a time when I kissed you and felt an eternity had passed, as if I had been with you since the beginning of time and will be with you until the end. There was a time when I looked into your eyes and saw galaxies and all the forces of the universe could not tear us apart. There will come a day when I draw my last breath and your heart skips a beat when mine stops beating, and you’ll know to find me again, in the next life, or whatever comes after.

 

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.

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.

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.

156

I keep trying to wipe you away but every time the mirrors fog up I see the messages we used to write for each other and it seems like my heart learns how to break all over again. I was a fool to squeeze the words out of you, but now your voice plays tricks on me in the dark, and I’m still not clever enough to see you for what you are.

I keep remembering the boy who told me he was scared of loving me, and I still blame myself for not taking his fears seriously. I should have questioned what dark secrets you were desperately guarding, and why you had been alone for so long in the first place. I want to go back and tell the stupid girl that love doesn’t fix everything and point out all the warning signs. All those times I had defended you in front of friends, and pretended that anger and jealousy were your ways of showing you loved me. I walked right into the trap, right into your arms, right into the fire. Finding sleep is always a battle now and most nights I wake up wishing I could dream of you, because only  your illusions are safe to touch.

I don’t cry anymore and the last boy who tried to wound me only received an empty smile, because you can’t break a broken heart. But damn, no one ever told me that keeping new scars away doesn’t stop the old ones from hurting. I tell my friends I’m in recovery but some days I feel like I’m still sinking and the nightmares never end. Sometimes I wish I had the wisdom to drown in that lake, when we were still beautiful and you would always see me that way. I wonder if you really believed I was strong enough to rebuild a castle out of all this rubble, or if part of you enjoys watching me fall for your lies. 

I thought I could replace you with softer lips and sweeter kisses, but going home with him never did mend what was broken inside. Warm bodies never replaced the chill you left, and I was still envious of the stranger who was sharing your bed. I thought I could forget you if I learnt to lie still in the dark and fall in sync with his breathing, but I think he left early because I mumbled your name in the morning. I’m still fighting invisible monsters and all this make up doesn’t make me feel beautiful the way that you did. You made me feel beautiful once, then you whispered the same lies to a younger fool. I thought I could forgive you and I’ve tried and tried, I’m still trying not to curse your name when they ask if I’m fine. 

You thought we could be friends but I was right in the end, I’m always right in the end.

You were the fire and I was the ice. You taught me love and I showed you spite. You’ll burn the rest and I’ll melt away. You’ll love another and I’ll keep the blame.

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

136

When the girl stumbles into your life with eyes that glitter and blood stained lips that demand to be kissed, do not love her; look past the sparkles and shades, the cashmere scarves and stilettos sharp as needlepoint. Do not fall for her innocent smile and demure demeanor, she is not an open book that is safe for you to read. She will trap you with her words and steal the breath from your lungs for comic relief. She will smell like a poisonous flower, sickeningly sweet, and the scent will linger long after she leaves you for another. She will leave them too.

Do not mistake her for your happy ending, do not seek to understand what you cannot begin to comprehend. Do not follow her footsteps when she remembers how to run. You will trip and bones will break, and she won’t have the patience to stay by your side while they mend. Do not call her baby, or sweetheart, or darling. She will laugh at your amateur attempts to lure her into intimacy, and the taste of betrayal from old lovers will cut like ice and you will freeze.

You’re not the one she wants, not even the one she needs. Do not give her the chance to break your heart in her lonely quest for vengeance.

But when the girl comes to you, hiding tears behind her lashes, grant her mercy and show her the path that leads to forgiveness. A monster stole her happiness and left her with a rotting body and a decaying heart; but she is a survivor, she will find peace.

133

I had fallen a long way
To tell you not to come after me
Softly slowly silently you stole what you never intended to keep
Left it on the kitchen counter
I have looked under all the knives
Trying to find old demons to hunt you down with
But all I found were petty mistakes
Our first kiss
My only pleasant memory
He accused me of smiling too much
With such sincerity you should have been a witness so you could learn
It’s impolite to put out cigarettes on fresh wounds
Still bleeding, I told my therapist and he called you selfish
I called your mother and she told me she loves you no matter what you did
I have not been able to lie in bed without feeling my bones ache and kicking invisible enemies
I have been seeing death in every mirror, every window
Telling me it’s time to leave

106

I will tuck away my fond memories of what could have been, hide them in the darkest corners of my mind, far out of reach. I will wait for the pain to subside and tell myself at least I’m still alive.

I will hide the scars with long sleeves and feign a smile when summer comes and people stare. I will stare back harshly and dare them to question my integrity.

I will let you think you’re right because I can’t fight dirty, it’s too tiring and my heart can’t take anymore. I don’t want to have the last laugh, the final words, they taste too bitter.

I will go to movies with other boys and pretend I want them to kiss me when the credits roll. I will rest my head on their shoulders and they’ll think I want to be there.

I will write poems of how you kissed me and you’ll never read them. I will write stories of how we met and you won’t remember. I will keep writing till there’s nothing left.

I will find someone sweeter, and you won’t hurt me anymore. I will remember how foolish I was, to think that love was worth dying for.