Life After

I pace the wooden floors of my dark bedroom, desperately trying to scrub your ugly words from the corners of my brain. To scrub your painful touch from my skin. Finding solace in the parts of my heart that I never let you touch. The pieces of me so hidden that your cold fingers could never graze the surface and reject their existence.

You gave up on me a long time ago.

Gave up getting to know me in the way that you should. In your arms, you held me so close but yet- you never wanted to crack the walls of my heart and have a look around.

No. You wanted to keep me at an arm’s length. Could you name the book I never stop talking about? Did the name of my favorite film take up space in your mind? Your sullen face watched as my cheeks became smeared with the softness of my heart but did you know why I was crying? Did you know why your words fragmented me so completely?

You stole harsh touches of my flesh in corners that I begged to be left alone. In tiny moments surrounded by a dark haze, you robbed my security. I couldn’t even feel the cold sheets under the burn of my skin. You left me with only the whispers of blame you placed on me. 

A collection of intimate moments were stolen from me. Were forcefully pulled from my trusting grasp. After submerging from the ignorance of sleep, my skin immediately crumbled  from the sting of your graze. 

You sat there. I could see you staring back at me through the blur of tears, cheeks hot with all the hurt you handed me. Your greedy, detached heart had no place for any feelings of regret or guilt so you shoved that into my already bleeding heart. You tore my feelings to pieces and put them back together- constructing a tower of satisfaction.

You settled your mistakes onto a girl crying out to be loved. To be seen. To be heard.

That’s when I knew you were a monster who ate the soul of the boy I thought I loved.

“I can change”

-you whisper into my hair as we lie next to each other in the dark. And in my soul’s fire that burns to leave the doors wide-open for love, I believed you.

I was never in love with you.

I was in love with the idea of you. With the ghost of the person that I thought I could conjure, after begging for so long. The person who would somehow mend all of the  wounds that hadn’t even healed enough to become scar tissue. The ones still split wide-open and bleeding. 

But I can’t keep choosing someone who will only ever choose themself. I can’t keep breaking my own heart over and over again because of the self-induced short-term memory loss when it comes to the pain you dealt me. Trying to turn a blind eye to all the ways that you have deeply hurt me.

You broke me.

If I ever let someone as close to my stinging heart as you ventured,  I would have to walk them through, step by step, how to love me. How to show me that I am loved deeply because my mind will always hover over the ways that you did not. How to handle my heart with all the tenderness that two hands can deliver.

Because my heart is fragile. Because its seams are frayed. Dented. Ready to rupture with the slightest trace of letdown. 

I’ll have to teach myself how to not flinch at an intimate touch. How to feel safe between someone else’s arms. How to let my heart fill itself to the brim without being fearful. I’ll put the crumbled pieces of myself back together. 

And I’ll be okay. 


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