It’s Okay (Even If I’m Not)

Xavier Sotomayor
Xavier Sotomayor

Don’t you see the tears streaming down my face? Can you not read the ‘help me’ into my dead ‘I’m fine’? Are you really that blind? After all these years of knowing me, do you know me so little?

Or maybe this is your way of protecting yourself. You do see the pain in my eyes; you can see the tiny quiver of my lips as I force them into a smile. But seeing is hurting, for you at least. For me it might be relief if you did, but some say humans are ineptly selfish and maybe there is some truth to that. So I get it, I guess. You’re protecting yourself. And I want to say that it’s okay, because although I am not, it kind of is.

I get it. I am difficult to be around. I am a burden at times, a mess at others. Sometimes I even reach train wreck levels. We both know it, because even if today I want you to be the one to notice, there have been plenty of other nights when my drunken words overpowered my clouded mind and I told you everything. I told you how much I sometimes scare myself, how deep the cut in my hear truly is that the boy who was never mine made anyway, how helpless I feel just drifting further and further away from the girl I used to know.

But, seriously, I need you tonight. I feel abandoned and alone and that boy didn’t text me back again and it hurts more than it should and if I now tell you that I am not okay and that I need you and you turn me down, well, not sure my heart could take that. So I let it go. I smile, quite convincingly apparently. Or are you just ignoring the truth? I tell you it’s just that dumb boy and why can’t he just text me back? God, I hate guys. We both laugh.

And we say goodbye and I hug you, trying not to hold on too tightly, forcing myself to let go even though it kind of feels like your arms were the only thing holding me together. But I have to and I do and I wave and walk home, listening to some pop song blasting through my ear phones, trying to drown out the thoughts that make me anything but fine.

And then in the silence of my apartment I feel the cracks and I drink too much and cry even more. Now I’m drunk and babble words I really want to tell you into the emptiness of my room because you aren’t there and I am alone. I grab my phone and shoot you a text.

“Are you still awake?”

You say yes and I type out dozens of different messages with different degrees of truth and jokiness all rolled into one text. I don’t remember which one I actually send, but it’s that forced casual one. It has some sort of ‘but I’ll be fine’ at the end, because if you really wanted to know the truth you would have asked earlier. If you truly cared then you wouldn’t believe it a second time.

But you do and it’s okay, even if I am not. TC mark

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