I started to make a wish on 11:11 when I realized it was actually 11:17, and I had just misread the last digit. That’s what loving you felt like.
I never intended to dive head first into that game with you. But they should’ve seen your smile after three shots of José, and I can’t put into words for my friends the way your arms wrapped around my waist like God made them solely for that purpose.
There was this feeling of possibility in the air exclusive to those dark, warm summer nights that felt like nirvana. I didn’t intend on loving you, but late night infatuation starts to disguise itself after a while, doesn’t it? And who was I to object?
You’d sit on my bed and call me beautiful from across the room. I should’ve noticed when you were busy on your phone minutes later.
You see, I used to hate the girls you betrayed my trust with. I’d find their social media accounts, drink in their faces, their lives, I’d know their names. Stomach lurching while I scrolled.
It wasn’t until a month ago that I realized I never hated these girls at all. I hated you. I hated the nights where I was awake at 4 wondering why I hadn’t heard from you. I hated the nights I was up at 5, wondering why you didn’t want to publicize our relationship. And at 6, because why was that random girl commenting on your pictures calling you “babe”? 7, because why wasn’t I enough? God, why wasn’t I enough?
On the nights where alcohol would hit our veins, and tomorrow morning was a mere suggestion, I remember begging you for an answer to that question.
But have you ever seen someone who can’t deal with their own guilt? Do you know what kind of beast that is? Your voice would raise, yelling, ‘shut the hell up or get the hell out.’
I’d see your eyes soften for maybe the quickest second, a sad boy trapped inside a hulk-like stature.
Minutes later you could be in bed snoring while I muffled cries on your bedroom floor. Our favorite routine. Whose mother taught us that bruises only came from bloody fists?
I think I forgave you for not being the person I dreamt you to be when I forgave myself for staying long past knowing you weren’t. You can’t live carrying a heaviness like that.
I sealed it in an envelope with a kiss and sent it on its way, hoping that maybe the love I share with the next guy will be more like 11:11 and less like 11:17.