It’s 3 am and my phone dings. My heart lurches in my throat and I curse myself for not having it on silent. Not because it woke me up, but because I already know it’s him. I know that it’s him and that my fingers will betray me, just like they do every night. This night, I say that it will be different. I tell myself I was never this girl. I watched my father disintegrate before my very eyes. I stood through my traumas. I held my own heart night after night. I never asked for anyone to stitch back together my broken pieces. I always did it on my own. I was the strong one, even when at my weakest.
But now, in my bed, texting back nonsense to a boy who tells me time and time again he will never give me what I willingly give him, I am a shell of my former self. I lie to my roommates when they ask the last time I talked to him. I repeatedly have epiphanies and announce with complete certainty, “I’m done.” I throw “fuck hims” around and put on my damn freakum dress. I dance until his lips on my forehead aren’t even a memory anymore. I dance until his name is just a name.
And then he reaches out. I think it must mean something, that I must mean something. And I go back on every promise. I go back on every word I’ve ever written. I convince myself he has to feel this too. I allow for his excuses.
“He’s not ready.”
“He’s not over her.”
“He’s going to realize what he has one day.”
I plead with my own ego. I play Russian roulette with the little dignity I have left. I look at this crumbling figure back in the mirror. I can’t even remember when I used to love her so much.
I used to love her so much. She lies to me and tells me, one day, he’s going to see me for everything I am. I won’t be his emotional pillow. His selfish comfort. I am placeholder. I am temptation, something to ease the lonely. I am a girl he never wanted to begin with.
But the truth is, I can’t figure out how to make any of this sound pretty, or artistic. This is irrational, and dirty. This is ugly and a time I will look back on and feel pity for the foolish 22 year old woman I was. I am so goddamn lost and keep hoping his body will be the compass that leads me the right way. His eyes are lighthouses, but his hands sirens. I am shipwreck.
But before I know it, it’s 3 am again and my phone dings.