He’s lost for words again, he starts batting his eyelashes twelve fucking times per second. How could I not have noticed that? His voice is a pitch too high too; when he tells a joke, he scratches his nose. His shoes never quite match the rest of the outfit. He’s a slow walker, a mouth breather, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him.
I didn’t use to. He was the sun, the moon and all of the galaxy’s stars for me. Now he doesn’t even ignite a tealight’s worth of spark. How did we end up like this?
I sit behind him in class. I stare at the back of his neck, cleanly shaven and splattered with these ridiculous beauty marks. Months ago, I’d trace my ice-cold fingers around them and I could practically see the goosebumps oozing out of his blotchy skin. He’d fold up his shoulder, trapping my hand in between and then he’d tag at it until I leaned forward and flashed him a smile, my lips almost touching his ear. Scratch that. Now he sees me and his gaze drops to the floor at the speed of light, as if the exchange never happened. He freed the world’s population of butterflies into my stomach and then, for the final act of the show, his acid mouth turned them into ashes.
I remember angry poking him when I couldn’t breathe because his stupid joke left me crying out for breath. I remember tripping and bruising my knee, rushing to answer his text in the dead of the night. I remember the spark in his eyes when he saw me after his trip and how awkward our cheek kiss was. Maybe I wasn’t the only one wishing for a mouth peck after all. We’d talk for hours. I know the story behind his best friend’s stolen guitar. I know about the time he and his brother fought and both ended up with stitches. What do I do with all this information? How do I uninstall it?
It’s scary how you fall out of love with a person and every little mannerism and quirk about them-that was once the pinnacle of their existence- is now making your guts churn and your mouth sour. I keep asking myself what on earth I saw in him in the first place and after excruciating thought, one thing is clearing out for me: I wasn’t thinking, I was drunk feeling my way through.
Strangers. We’re nothing but strangers. His indifference is killing me, one cell at a time. Part of me wishes he lashed out, he fought me, yelled at me, detested me; mom always said that hatred and passion are on opposite sides of the same flip coin. I want some closure, I want to know I was his heroin, that cutting me out tore a piece of him apart too. I’m selfish and I know it, but where did my unconditional love ever get me? He’s lukewarm to me and I to him. Needless to say, we both like it scorching hot.
I gave and gave and gave and gave. I lost track of my givings. In return, I have a dozen pictures of an obsolete happiness and a film of half-spoken feelings and inside jokes that plays out before my eyes every time I cross our favorite crepe place. He ate his with cheese and chicken nuggets. Jeez, never trust a person who doesn’t soak their crepe with chocolate sauce. Can’t tell the signs weren’t there.
He said I cared too much. My attention was choking him. “Not enough space”, were his words. Perhaps. Still, I wouldn’t change any of it. Don’t you ever curse yourself for your soft spots and your generous old soul. Since when is caring a sin? But It wasn’t his fault either really. Maybe compatibility isn’t so overrated after all. I’m left numb and infinitely sad and yet hopeful. That one day I’ll come across a person for whom my caring is burning fuel, not a catastrophe. I’m a walking fool.
© 2017 Reef Magazine