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: love

267

A part of me wanted to gamble. I considered betting on myself, on whatever love or fragmented remains of it were left for me. Plenty of marriages survived on nostalgia and fear of being lonely, perhaps I could join their ranks.

Part of me imagined ripping her to shreds. It took whatever strength I had left to not humiliate myself further by contacting her. I fancied a confrontation, dreamed of it, practised all the witty insults I could throw at her that might cause even a semblance of the pain and anguish she had carelessly drowned me in. But none of it really mattered, when even the mere suggestion of it sent him rushing to her side, jumping to her defence.

There was nothing to save, we had truly run out of love for one another. Or rather, he had run out of love for me, and it was as if he’d pulled a plug out of the drain and I was quickly losing the rest. It hurt less than I expected, which hurt more in a way. I always believed if you could stop loving someone then you never really loved them at all. But ten years is a long time to be fooled by infatuation. If I’m being honest, only 4 of them were any good. We soldiered on when the warmth melted away. We did the mature, responsible thing, and “worked on our marriage”. Ironically the happiest times when we both felt most content was when he loved another woman. He had to betray me to be good to me, now ain’t that sweet.

tbc..

 

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265

I’ve been in love before, many times even. I’ve always found it easy to love, to find that piece of someone worthy of treasuring. The world was more beautiful if you looked for the goodness in people.

But I’d only given myself up once before, so completely, that when he turned a liar, my world crumbled. I did not know how to pick myself up, how to collect the fractured pieces. I wasn’t sure I wanted to, I wasn’t sure I wanted the leftovers. I wasn’t sure I could live in a world where someone I loved so fiercely could demolish my affections with only an apology. The last thing I wanted to hear was “I’m sorry“. The words left a sour taste in his mouth and a cigarette burn on my sleeve.

Enough time has passed for me to understand that we were never meant to be, nor should our paths ever cross again. There was always going to be someone else who was capable of delivering a happiness to him that I couldn’t possibly have attained, and a part of him knew that. He was right to insist on being selfish. I was selfish to hate him for it.

Yet I find traces of him on me still, rust stained scars marking out his capacity for cruelty. I was hellbent on forging tangible evidence of the pain he was delivering, I never considered one day I might regret the mess I’d made. To be fair, I never thought I’d live long enough to regret anything.

Now you kiss me and I weigh it against his lies. You whisper “I love you” and I remember he meant it too, he swears it. He hurt me in ways you couldn’t imagine. I love you in ways he couldn’t fathom. I’d let you shatter me just like he did. You know darling, some girls just look prettier when they’re broken.

263

There are very few opportunities in life (and in death) for you to sincerely be there for someone. We don’t like to often admit that we need other people, but sometimes we accede to our vulnerabilities. I am stubborn and immature and perhaps unreasonably angry with you for not being there, for once again, as you are so accustomed to, letting me down.

I was foolish to think your fondness for me still extended to romance, that you would in fact, drop everything, that I was worthy for you to make an exception for. I’m not sure why I believed this possible, when I had never been a priority in the past, yet there I was, still offering you unwanted chances to prove me wrong. I still dreamt of such sweet mistakes. I still wanted to believe your lies because they sounded better. I wanted to prove you loved me for once, or know that you didn’t.

But then I wake to the loneliness, to the bitter broken promises and empty regrets. You stole my heart and my time, left me with only evidence of our failures, my misplaced confidence caught on tape. Now you whisper the same sweet nothings to her, you hold her in your arms and say she’s the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen. She falls asleep by your side feeling happier than she has in months and believes every word. Nine months in and she’ll discover to her despair that you don’t even love her enough to leave the house.

Or maybe I was the curse. I was never enough for you. You were never enough for me. We are both thieves and we thrive in the chaos of unintended consequences. You never meant to fall in love with me. I never meant to take you seriously. Now I lie here missing you, wondering what might have been. If I had chosen you, maybe you would have chosen me.

262

I have always thrived on chaos. I find conflict enchanting, and occasionally I would manufacture unnecessary drama for my own amusement, simply to avoid the routine. I read too many love stories while I was young and impressionable, and despite all that has happened, I remain hopelessly optimistic, unreasonably sentimental. I am too often torn between wanting to be remembered and wanting to disappear entirely. I miss the people I desperately want to forget. I think about him more than I should. I have difficulty distinguishing the difference between sensible and boring. Yet it sometimes feels I’ve managed to capture the banal despite lacking sensibility.

I am all I could ever have hoped to be and I am nothing all at once. Every day is a blessing, and every day feels like a curse, a pitiful dance. We are just children playing God, pretending not to watch the clock, pretending not to count. How many days before we turn to dust, before brittle bones can no longer hold us steady and our own bodies turn against us, until at best we surrender in comfort, surrounded by sorrow. A life well lived ends in tragedy despite, you leave behind hurt regardless of your good intentions.

I love you in ways I don’t understand. I could die for you and leave you in the same breath, if you would permit me. Too often I find myself dreaming of a different story, one where we met when I was still young and naive, foolish enough to wear my heart on my sleeve. I’d let you rip it apart if you wanted. I suspect even the destruction would taste sweet. But we are not young lovers anymore, we are older, wiser, jaded, we’ve suffered through suspect and deceit. We recognise lies and we respond accordingly, sometimes it comes so naturally we don’t even notice it. This little game, your pretty lies, your clever, thoughtful, perfectly manufactured answers, so eloquently pronounced that I can only smile and nod my approval. Darling, I love you to the moon and back, but you are not my sun.

261

What is it about pain that leaves us craving for more? Why is it hardwired in us to seek pleasures that are entangled in suffering? What primitive natures take over when we weep with joy?

I had never expected to be understood, to cease the fight and submit to degradation. Something wicked in his eyes, something charming sends shivers down my spine. He uses me until every cell in my body aches, yet I have never felt more loved than those precious moments after, when we lie there in our contentment, a lazy smile stuck on my lips that lingers for days.

He can be cold and unmoved by my begging, and in the next moment breathe passion into me with tender whispers. “Hush, be a good girl…” and just like that I’m lost again, my body not my own, he takes me where he goes, painting me in his colours, marking his territory.

Oh, the dangers of being owned. The closer you get the harder the fall if he ever lets you go. When will I learn, silly girl, to cease treating love like a drug, a distraction from a damaged past. I can never seem to get enough, I can never shake the addiction.

But darling you kiss me and I can taste the stars. Won’t you be my redemption? Take my hand and stay a while, this crazy world with all it’s beauty and darkness, how nice it is that we could find each other under the same skies, and love each other despite our imperfections. You are the closest thing to perfect I have ever missed.

260

Sometimes I feel that you don’t love me the way I love you, or that you don’t love me as much as I love you. I know how childish that sounds, how irrational and immature it is in nature, and that it is untrue. On most days I know it is untrue. There are other days when I think maybe it is true but that it doesn’t matter. Some days I know that you can never love me more than you do now, and nothing I do could ever change that in any meaningful way.

I am bound to you the way a moth flocks to a flame, dancing and darting under the light, in flight and in joy. Your presence bears a sense of comfort and happiness I had not known before, and so with it the crippling fear, a carefully contained anxiety built from the inescapable knowledge of what I know to be true: one day you will leave me; one day I will leave you.

259

What is broken may never mend the way we want it to. I loved you and you loved the way I loved you. You watched the life drain out of me and began searching for the nearest exit. You wore my scars like trophies, deep down you wanted to be remembered.

I wish I could love him with the same fearlessness, the same carelessness, the willingness to be hurt. Do you know what it’s like to miss who you could have been? I find myself reverting to old unhealthy habits. I feel myself giving in to darker cravings.

Anything worth having can be lost. Now I have something to lose. Now I can be frightened, all the time, always preparing for the worst. I spent a lifetime around people like you who took pleasure in making me feel small. It’s hard to believe sometimes that he could see differently. He convinces me over and over again and yet I always forget, I keep begging for reminders, all the while convinced that one day he’ll be tired of lying to me. One day he won’t bother.

I was reckless until I met him, as it had never mattered to me before. In a way you can always sense the difference between someone simply passing by and someone who intends to stay. We know before they ever touch us who will be gentle and who will leave a mark. Some lovers leave bitter tastes in our mouth and others we wish for happier endings though we no longer play a part.

You had turned me to a beggar once. I was naive enough to think you loved me and foolish enough to try and make you stay. I kiss his lips and taste your betrayal. You left me with a crooked heart. Oh darling take me back to the start.

258

Do you know what it’s like to wake up one morning and hate the life that you’ve built? A life that so many would envy, a life that some would trade in a heartbeat, a life that perhaps you never deserved to begin with.

The skillfully curated library intended to enlighten your guests to all your class and wisdom. Wallace’s Infinite Jest sprawled open on your bedside table, your chances of actually consuming it growing infinitely smaller with each passing day. No one actually reads books these days, who has the time?

The carefully selected catalog couture stashed neatly in your walk in closet. The grossly overpriced stiletto heels that only a true masochist would fathom walking in. The unethically sourced blood diamonds that satisfies the darkest parts of our selfish nature, the feeling of having won something in this trivial game, of having the upper hand in this meaningless excursion. Petty excuses for a petty existence, self serving because we no longer worship deities, we think we are Gods.

We used to know our place, back when only Emperors wore jewels and gold threaded embroidery. In this age of spin we’re led to believe that we too, can have a chance to experience life as royalty. If not for a lifetime then perhaps a month, a week, a day, an hour. A billion dollar industry designed to make you feel content with what is otherwise a mediocre existence, a mild inconvenience to this planet at best.

Have you ever woken up one morning and no longer recognised yourself? When did the fine lines sink in around your eyes? How many bottles of expensive creams in french labels will it take to erase the tiredness from your soul? When did you grow old? Did anybody notice you were gone? Will anyone notice if you don’t return? Do you fantasise about leaving it all behind? Being dramatic just for once, packing your bags without leaving a forwarding address. It used to be easier to disappear, when we didn’t have devices and accounts that tracked every movement.

I am wary of being called ungrateful, of inviting unpleasant superstitions. But I am so very tired of myself, of what I am becoming, of every day that passes and the days yet to come. I fear becoming a caricature of myself, of withholding my affections for purpose, of a love held together by mutual convenience and bitter compromise. You keep pushing me to be a better version of myself, sometimes I wonder if you ever liked who I am to begin with. I keep chasing your approval and losing myself in the process. I fear when you’re done with me, there’ll be nothing left.

256

I wonder if you ever think of me.

Not in a romantic sense, but just as a passing thought. I wonder if you’re ever haunted by memories of laughs we shared, secret smiles and subtle glances, a stifled giggle now and then.

I don’t have a choice in what reminds me of you. The episodes come and go as if I am a mere bystander and the theatre has decided today it will play you, it will remind me that you’re hilarious and witty and all the things I loved about you are still true, but I was not worthy of being held onto.

I see your face now and then in strangers, boys who hold a shadow of your Nordic features, but never quite capturing your smug yet self deprecating charm.

We stood together at the crossroads and you took the good path, the straight and narrow, the safer road, always so sensible. I was always clamoring to be misunderstood, to be missed, to make mistakes so you could save me. You grew tired of my antics quickly and soon enough, you grew tired of me. Who could really blame you?

I asked you a long time ago, the first time you said you loved me. I asked what love meant to you. You were confused by the question. I was unwilling to share my answer, knowing it would do more harm than good. Because love meant I’d do almost anything for you. Anything within my power, anything that wouldn’t result in someone else’s pain, anything that wouldn’t destroy me in the process. If some small sacrifice on my part could improve your day, I wouldn’t hesitate, because your happiness meant more to me than anything else. I was so blinded by my infatuation that I refused to see it was never the same for you. “I love you” meant you tolerated my existence. You allowed me to build my life around you out of convenience. You told me lies because they sounded better. You let me live in my own fantasy so you never had to break my heart. You waited for me to break my own.

Still I hear your voice some days, quiet murmurs in the dark. I feel your arms around me sometimes, and you whisper that I’m the prettiest girl you’ve ever known. I didn’t believe it then and I know it was never true, but it still felt good to hear you say it. “I love you” meant you were willing to lie, and that must count for something. You risked a tarnish on your soul in order to make me smile. You loved me the only way you knew how, for a while.

254

“Happiness is the enemy. Now you have something to lose.”

I dread the day I lose you to a prettier smile, a youthful radiance no longer found in our dimly lit study. I fabricate the slow death, the agonizing ache when you must watch helplessly as your lover’s impatience outgrows their affections for you. You stay quiet and watch the threads come apart slowly, or you fight and tear it in two.

I picture your lips on her, every inch of her. How she makes you feel young again with her gaze, how easily she falls for you as I once did. How her innocence reminds you to dream, and how my heart will shatter on the day you decide to stop pretending.

I don’t know how love grows or where it goes when it runs out. But I feel a hollowness in my chest when you’re gone and a tenderness through the long nights when sleeping together feels better than anything else. The kind of love that fills you to the brim and the kind of love that terrifies me to my very core.

I find myself thinking about the others who had lost you, others who now miss you. The  few who still keep in touch, the ones who left enough of a dent for you to miss them too, even if you won’t admit it. The one that your parents liked, the one you thought you might marry. I ponder the possibility of joining their ranks and I don’t very much appreciate my chances of survival.

What does love mean to you? What does it mean when you say you love me? What is it about men that makes women feel so lonely? What is about you that leaves me always wanting?

253

What would you give up for the love of your life?

What would make him worthy?

I have lived enough or am perhaps simply weak enough to admit that love can sometimes not conquer all. There is bitterness to be found in counting copper and your smile still haunts me.

I have learned that forgiveness can be found at the bottom of the glass, and regret follows if we only bend when it is too late.

I used to think that ours was an unbreakable bond, now I know there was simply no one pulling at the strings. We had never really been tested before. It turned out most lies we tell eventually crumble.

There are men who warm you and there are men who burn like fires, who swallow you up in the smoke, leaving only dust and memories. The men who protect you are more often the ones who break you, they know where to push the buttons, they know how to hurt.

He will remain faithful even in his infidelity, and you will be his forever treasure. The perfect solution to all his broken promises, the unjustifiable reward for all his selfishness. But he will love you like you have never been loved before. His love is strange and all consuming, you won’t know how to survive without it.

I still wish you more than happiness. I still love you with my crooked heart.

251

It will rob you of something intricate. In your desperation to be watched, to be remembered, the catastrophic amount of stress you will experience from the urge to impress will swallow you, it will turn you into a shell of who you used to be.

People will stay acquaintances because it’s safer that way, and because it becomes harder to have conversations when you’re used to hiding behind a screen. Social anxiety is a euphemism we made up so we could sound special instead of broken, because we won’t admit we broke ourselves.

We started caring too much about the wrong things, about celebrities whose lives consisted of shallow superficial highs that we pretended to be uninterested in but only because we know we could never afford it. The perverse satisfaction of knowing you have a little more than others, it will turn you. You will become difficult and unpleasant to be around.

You start to suffer for the wrong reasons. Pretending to be happy because it feels good to have others think you are perfect, no matter what is really happening behind closed doors. You start to become proud of how well you hide the ugly truth. Your image starts to become more important than your soul.

You forget how to love and start to believe it was just a way to sell Valentines Day cards to the naive. You mistake his dangerous obsession for gentle infatuation and convince yourself that masterful manipulation is just a cleverer way of caring. But it’s also the greatest indicator of his capacity for violence. He’s the type to leave cities in ruins.

You think empathy is for the weak. You mock the less fortunate or feign compassion depending on the circumstances. You know you worked hard for everything you have, so you start to believe they must deserve their suffering. You scoff at the insinuation of a privileged life, you forget it’s all relative.

You start to look down on people who are not necessarily less intelligent, nor less hard working, but simply less fortunate. You discuss people by listing their accomplishments and assets, because that’s the most interesting thing about them. You become dull and petty, incapable of having a meaningful conversation.

You die a slow death long before you stop breathing.

248

That warm feeling in your soul when you’re just beginning to fall in love with someone.

The impatience for you to wake up in the mornings because I’ve missed you after all that sleep. Trivial things like remembering my drink order, watching me struggle to decide between two options and ordering the forfeited one for yourself so I can have both. Reaching your hand behind to grab mine when we cross the road. Kissing me at the intersection while we wait for the lights. Winking at me in the elevator when strangers intrude. Taking me in your arms possessively and declaring: ‘mine‘. I am still in awe at how good it feels to be ‘yours‘.

Digging through the past for stories not skeletons because I’m curious at how you became yourself. Putting up with my childish antics and finding them endearing rather than irritating, promising to let me take advantage of this honeymoon phase for as long as I can. Accidentally calling me ‘darling’ and rushing to defend your mistake, insisting it was meant sarcastically. I let you pretend.

Falling in love to the same song with a different person, because there is cruelty in romance. So this is what it feels like to fall level headed, no butterflies in my stomach but only a calculated passion, reinforcing the suspicion that this is where I belong, what I’ve always wanted. The freedom to let go and fall, trusting you to catch me every time. We’ve made our share of mistakes, the tragedy of meeting the right person at the wrong time. We’ve tasted betrayal before, but it hasn’t left us bitter. I’ve heard of love like this before, lets make it better.

247

There’s a reason I haven’t apologised. There’s a reason I feel entitled, even angry, still. When I loved I left no doors unopened, I was ready, ready, ready for you to come in, to make me a home. The epitome of love is not selfish romance, it’s not two people kissing under the rain in a rose garden. It’s family, it’s beginnings and promises of a lifetime to come, I wanted the sort of love that would ache.

We did not meet so young, we did not have perfect excuses for our failures to be more than what we chose to be. You had no excuses left, I was running out for you. Every day was another day that you refused to change, which in a way was choosing to not be with me. Every day you took another step away from me and I’d run to keep up, I loved your shadows.

I have learned to keep my tongue in cheek, to win less, because small victories are not worth celebrating, especially alone. But I did not know how to let you go. I had forced myself to erase the concept of a life without you. Now I am trying to re-imagine this new life, but it is not as beautiful as my first design. I drew you perfect.

There must be fifty ways to leave your lover, but I know only one. Break your own heart, shatter it to pieces, make them watch. Tell them you still love them, and it’s slowly killing you. Tell them you won’t ever love like that again, no more, no more. I dream of happier endings but I don’t tell you anymore. No more, no more. My heart’s been broken but it doesn’t hurt anymore. No more, no more.

246

There is darkness in all of us, mine is simply louder.

I’ve never been good at taking life or people in small doses. I prefer a more lethal injection, to live recklessly, to love wildly, to be so close to someone that you breathe them in, you forget who you are, you let the good fill you up and the bad consume you whole, every heart break is an evolution, a transfiguration.

I’ve come apart again, crumbling in his hands, falling for pretty words and prettier lies, gentle kisses and dangerous eyes. I watch my own insanity merge into his skin, our infatuations mistaken for passion, every scar and every bite intended to mark his territory, I get lost in a simple word: mine.

I dream of holding your hand. Something about a subtle wave, a small gesture as we navigate through the crowds feels far more intimate than kissing or fucking. I dream of being owned, body and soul, in toxic quantities, I want to forget, I want to let go. I want to be taken, used, beaten, subdued, ravished. I want to feel safe when I come undone. The gentlest touch comes when you’re half asleep but still remember to pull me closer, I feel my head pressed against your chest and your heart beat steadily sends me to slumber. The night is young and full of wonder.