Serendipity

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

Tag: words

198

I wasn’t lying when I said I wanted everything. For those who feel the graze of death too young, we always want more. We become too aware of the finite amount of time we have been designated, and desperately want to experience all that is possible before it’s over. I want the good, the bad, the ugly, and I ignore the consequences with a fierce determination. I refuse to test the waters, and dive right in without a care for the repercussions. I’ve always chosen all or nothing, never in between; I detest purgatory. I want so much that nothing ever feels like enough, I am insatiable in every meaning of the word. I am a sinner without remorse, I am a liar unfamiliar with guilt, I am a heart breaker and your best lover, I am the fallen.

I believe when the universe was created, when we were merely stardust, our atoms found each other once and we continue to drift back again and again, attracted to the same energy of our beginnings, and that is what makes us feel complete. But I am not searching for my better half, I am not seeking completeness, I am patiently waiting to be broken. I want to unravel in your arms, I want you to be strong enough to break me, study the shattered pieces, be the sole witness to my destruction. I need you to find beauty in my pain.

When I looked into your eyes and found traces of rage and insanity, I felt my heart beat faster and my soul begin to ache. This was it, checkmate, this is game, fatal attraction. I am drawn to a quality I can’t quantify, an aura I can’t explain, a force to be reckoned with. I love playing with fire, I cannot live without risk. But if you want to bring out the worst in me, you must prepare for carnage. If you wish to tame me, you must know how to handle me broken. If you want to be let in, I promise to make your world spin. If you plan to take control, prepare to have your reality stolen. This is not a task for the weak-minded, I demand the spirit of a champion.

But if you find yourself lost in the moment, if you feel your heart flutter in an unsettling manner, remember I am not safe to keep. If you find yourself falling for illusions, searching for answers, remember I am full of beautiful lies and nightmares that scar. If you find yourself staring into my soul and you are not afraid, you should remember that love is the most dangerous game in our universe. There may be two villains in our story, but only one will have a broken heart.

191

We’ll never love like this again.
When this is over, we won’t be the same.

Because we might be writing new names into blank spaces but none of us are blank slates anymore. Relationships no longer start at square one. When you meet someone for the first time you’re meeting their every heartbreak, every lie, every broken promise. You’re left carrying all the baggage they should have left behind but stubbornly held onto till it molded them into this beautiful mess. You’re not just falling for the boy his mother raised him to be, but the collective wisdom of ten ex girlfriends and all the things they wanted him to change but he didn’t. You’ll discover the same flaws that made the last one leave and you’ll think the same thing she did- , “I’m different“. That was your chance to walk away. You should have known better.

Instead you’re wearing Ashley’s daring shade of lipstick and Stella’s dyed pixie haircut. You go out to dinner in Lindsay’s little black dress and you’re dabbing on Claire’s favourite brand of mascara. He never bores you with the details of what he loved about them. He’s a gentleman, and he politely pretends you’re brand new, even though every piece of you is a shadow of an ex-lover, and every kiss brings back memories of another. He walks you back to your apartment with his arm around your shoulders, and at the door you lean in to kiss him so hard he sees stars. You just wanted to feel something.

He’s touching your skin but tracing her collarbones, he’s losing himself in finer, gentler memories that you will never understand. You don’t tell him you’re a liar too, he doesn’t need to know you’re better at it. You don’t tell him you fell in love with the boy who smiled at you on the train and when you imagined kissing him your heart beat faster at the thought of betrayal. You don’t reveal the cheap thrills you indulge in when life gets boring and you don’t warn him that the best you’ll ever be is his biggest mistake. He doesn’t notice when you dig your roots into his veins and draw poison to quench a never ending thirst. He doesn’t know you sold your soul to the devil the first chance you got, and your leftover innocence won’t make up for the insanity.

You’ll never replace his first love, and when he doesn’t give you his heart it’s not out of cruelty, but he genuinely does not recall where he misplaced it. What is left is not enough to shatter, you are just the mirror of a mirror, barely leaving an impression. You foolishly poured out your soul at 2 AM in the dark, expecting his warm body to heat up your cold memories, and now you’re nothing but empty. He will miss you but that doesn’t mean he’s not relieved when you leave. He knows how to live without you, just like how he lived without all the others. Practice makes perfect.

You craved understanding but he never wanted to understand you. To get under someone’s skin, tear off the mask, feel their triumphs and their pain, it takes patience and precision. It takes kindness and blind faith. Neither of you had that luxury. It takes a special kind of optimism that diminishes with each round. You were not new to the game and nor was he. When you interrogated him for the last time and whispered “how could you do this to me“, he laughed and replied “you would have done the same“. You vow to never lose again.

When he disposes you he forgets to mention that it isn’t because you’re so disposable. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he really did love you. He just loved himself a little bit more, and at the end of the day you were both better at being alone. When the silence around you began to grow uncomfortable he felt shame for wasting your time. In time, you will thank him for leaving.

When you finally examine the past without a bruised ego blurring your clarity, you discover that every bruise was intentional, and you fought for anonymity because you wanted to be forgotten. You wore a suit of fake skin so you could slip out unseen when needed. Like a snake that can molt on command or the lizard that can detach its tail, you knew how to disappear without a trace.

Nothing feels worse than being left, nothing feels better than leaving.

 

189

It is summer and the air feels thin around us. You open all the windows in our apartment to tempt a non existent breeze while I pout at the weak air conditioning as if I could guilt it into functioning. We spend our mornings cramped in the bathroom, taking cold showers together and spending too much time with our hands on each other. I grew accustomed to the calluses on your fingers and you learn to avoid my scars. We barely knew each other but we didn’t need to know better. You dragged me to the beach for an excuse to hold my hand, and to this day I cannot visit the ocean without thinking of your arms around me under the waves, keeping me close. Every mistake we made that day was worth it. I looked into your eyes and saw passion.

It is Autumn and the air is gentle. It is the season of death and redemption, and we are no longer infatuated with each other’s quirks and sins, we have fallen into a deeper mystery. You read me poems by Frost and I try to memorise your favourite. I have not been able to tempt a poem from my mind since; all my words have twisted into bitter songs. Every remarkable day we spent under the sun has been stored away, you turned my mind into a maze and I have given up my search for peace. I looked into your eyes and refused to read the signs.

It is Winter and your heart is frozen. I caught the way you looked at her and gave you more credit than you ever bargained for. I begged you to be a better liar and swallowed your guilt, I downed your lies faster than tequila, boy you served it smooth. I looked into our mirror and the wild child had disappeared, I was a fool who thought you could love me tamed. I grew comfortable and complacent, not noticing the more I tried to love you the more you despised me for it. You took both hands and wrapped them around the life I’d planned and squeezed the last breath out of it. You silenced my screams with a kiss. I looked into your eyes and saw my own darkness.

It is Spring and I am learning how to let go. I know the reasons you won’t be coming, I understand why you couldn’t stay. I am recollecting traces of myself and spending hours chasing memories while you wait patiently for them to expire. But I’m the ghost in your corridor at 2 in the morning when you have company yet still feel lonely. I’m the coffee you drink every morning and I’m the song played by every radio station on repeat. I’m the taste of regret that lingers on the bottom of every glass of whiskey and there will never be enough alcohol to drown out the voice in your head whispering my name. I’m the colour of Autumn and I don’t fade easily. I will never look into your eyes again.

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.

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.

168

It was dark, it was always dark in his room. Even in the day time, his curtains were always drawn so he could pretend that everything was at a standstill, and life wasn’t moving on without him. It’s easier to kiss strangers in the dark, it’s easier to self destruct unnoticed.

Control, that was his drug. He liked to blame the alcohol and the little white pills, but she saw right through that. He didn’t love people the way he wanted to, the way he wished he could. But he loved control. Even those who were immune to his superficial charm couldn’t ignore him, and when all eyes were on him that was when he felt most at ease. He discovered from a young age that you can get away with almost anything if you do it with enough confidence, and he knew that when everyone was looking, no one was really seeing him for what he was. She saw him, but she had turned a blind eye to his invisible crimes, she had loved him with a criminal passion.

He had built a career out of lying and cheating beautiful women into loving him, and used it to reassure himself that he wasn’t lonely, he wasn’t broken, because the one who loves less controls the relationship. The one who loves less doesn’t get hurt. He was addicted to the power he had over those silly girls, but at the same time he despised them for making it so easy. He’d send them off early in the morning before he’d even made himself a coffee. He said they were bad company, but she knew he just didn’t want the shame. It’s harder to look at them when he’s sober. It’s harder to act oblivious to the damage.

She was supposed to be one of those stupid girls, someone who didn’t matter. But she showed up with all her jokes and optimism about changing his life and it knocked the wind right out of him. He kept trying to figure her out and she kept changing every time he thought he got close to the answer. When he told her he was the devil she smiled a wicked smile and insisted she was Satan’s mistress. When he tried to scare her off with his twisted plots she asked to be his accomplice. Even with his hands wrapped around her throat, she wondered if she could still save him from himself. Even as the bruises set in, she thought she could rescue him.

When he had her pinned against the wall with nothing but whiskey breath between their lips, she couldn’t figure out why the same man who made her laugh, who had a smile that made life look easy, could also be the source of most of her nightmares. There was no shocking finale, no tearful goodbyes, she left as suddenly and as she had appeared in his life. Now he looks for her in every girl he brings home, but every kiss tastes like her shadow, every kiss is her curse.

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.

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.

125

We drove to the Harbour Bridge to look at pretty lights and I had to admit, they made me feel a little better, but I still didn’t know what to say. You were the one who taught me how words can complicate and create ambiguities. I was afraid of slipping up and making him realise something was very, very wrong with me.

I decided to play all the songs you ruined for me, so that next time I hear them I will think of him instead of you. I hoped to remember how he tried to make me laugh when all you did was make me cry. I wanted to remember the warmth of his presence and how kindness seeped through when you only ever showed me malice. I wondered how he’d feel if he knew how grateful I was that he didn’t try to kiss me. I didn’t want him to kiss me when I was busy hating you, hating all the things you didn’t do for me.

I wish you would leave me alone so I could move on and not panic when someone new tries to hold my hand.  But your ghosts are so cruel and now I’m exhausted after cutting out my daily dose of caffeine because every cup of coffee tastes like you.  Then our song came on and it knocked the wind right out of me. The image of us lounging together while you played the ukelele and sang for me was too painfully clear, I could hear every word. I saw how happy we were and I couldn’t breathe the entire way home.

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. 

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. 

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.