this is one of those moments, the ones that you hear about but don’t want to see, the ones that i’ve told you about that receive shaking heads and ‘promise me never again’.
this is one of those moments when i remember the way the lie tasted on my tongue, the bitterness of the fact that i knew i would break the promises like prisoners being freed while the guards are unconscious and the iron shackles shatter and crumble.
i didn’t believe you when you called me beautiful or said my hair was like falling cherry blossoms or when you kissed me and whispered i love you, i love you, please know that i love you. i didn’t believe you when you said we were okay, that everything would be okay, that you understand. i knew that you didn’t know. i knew that you couldn’t understand. i knew that there would be a day when you turn your back and sit in silence, frustrated with my sadness.
you love the beautiful girl until you peel away the petals and find the rotting within. it’s the dead, the decay, the melting flesh beneath the paper slips draped across fragile bone. you kiss the thin lips, praying for tongue and breath and something good, but you receive apologies to halfheartedly accept. of course i’m sorry for the deception; i didn’t mean to wear coats of satin and smile the way you liked. i didn’t mean to smell like lilacs and remind you of your childhood.
i can tell you that i’ve never felt uglier. i can tell you that i thought i loved you once with the way you could listen like the teddy bears that held out open arms. i can tell you that i did love you for each warm embrace and the promises you gave me and the silly attempts to see my smile. you did make me feel beautiful for a day, and that matters.
but it’s harder now even though you think i’m better. that’s your word. better, better, better - one day, you’ll be better. yet the problem is that i’m eternally sad and you’re eternally hopeful.
the day you realize you’re wrong, i don’t want to be there.
this is one of those moments when i don’t need a mirror to feel ugly or an empty room to feel alone. this is one of those moments when i think in prose and trace naked trees into the air, willing them to live again when the roots have been plucked from the earth and the insides have been decaying for years. this is one of those moments when the lilacs are fading, curling into themselves and falling apart when their lives reach the end. they never lie long, you know.
i used to think i’d live forever. i learned that tomorrow was hard enough.
i can’t see next week, but you can imagine a year from now. somehow, i don’t think you see me. you see the girl in the flowing skirt, the high-pitched laughter and shaking hands, but they tremble as a side effect of tablets and the bangles hide the scars.
they told me to uproot the unhealthy relationships before the engine begins to stutter like an ancient car. they told me to take away the people who will love me and leave me, the ones who can make it shine or make it rain. i fell in love with myself once, too, but i found the dark parts and lost that love.
they told me to say i’m beautiful, to say that i’m worth it, that the world is within my reach. this is one of those moments where i can’t. my throat bars its gates and my mouth kisses crazy glue. they told me that i’ll love myself one day and i loved myself today, but they didn’t tell me that sometimes love fades and it’s hard to find it again.
you haven’t called me beautiful. you’ve been playing passive aggressive. you’ve been holding my hand and tugging me forward, pulling me back, burying your face in my neck and murmuring i love you, i love you, i love you. but i can’t talk to a brick wall and i’ve never been an artist; i can’t make anything out of a blank canvas. you think you can take care of me, but who will take care of you when i scrap away the gooey bits of romance and strip you of your trust and leave you in a tangle of jealousy and rage?
i can’t write about love. i’m brimming with sadness that licks my neck and scratches my ankles and begs for my attention while mocking my pleas, my desperation. the world makes a mockery of girls like me, who don’t need mirror to feel ugly or professionals to say i need help. the world thinks i’m weak, that girls like this, like me, can crumble like loosely-packed powder. the wind could blow me away; you would be saved.