First You’re Going To Fall Then He’s Going To Ruin You After That He’ll Leave

Priscilla Du Preez

“I wonder if you know yet that you’ll leave me. That you are a child playing with matches and I have a paper body. You will meet a girl with a softer voice and stronger arms and she will not have violent secrets or an affection for red wine or eyes that never stay dry.” ~ Clementine von Radics

You will meet him on an early day when all the world’s stillness seems to be at your back.

He will be your every shade of blue. He will be every breath after every kiss. He will feel like home. He will be the realization that you are so ridiculously breakable. He will be the unfamiliar narrative that you never knew was always scrawled on your heart. He will feel like bravery.
He will feel like the place you are always reaching for. He will be the dents in your heart that you could’ve sworn you made yourself. He will be the faulty material that promised proper patching.

You will go over, fresh-faced and eager, even though he warned you not to. You will drink him up entirely, and mistake his crudeness for earnestness and honesty and you will love him right then, right there.

You will believe that he is open and honest and raw and you will gorge on it all. He’ll spoonfeed you and even burp you afterward. You will go home that night and feel uncertain and weary, but so full. You will see him again, and again and again, and it will be a heavier dose of a brand new drug every time.

You will have never met anyone like him. Then he will start to crack. He will break. He will tell you that he is not who you think he is, that he is a monster. You will instinctively, protectively, assert that he is wrong. And for a while, he’ll humor you and play pretend.

He will make you feel everything, in all the ways no one else ever has. He will touch you deeply without laying a finger on your flesh, and you will writhe in ecstasy at every fingertip against your skin. You will spend entire days firing off reasons why you are so inescapably mad for each other.

It will constantly feel like your bodies are actually speaking to each other. Like your heartbeat is only a response to his own. You will crave his touch, you will crave his eyes on your eyes. You will crave, you will crave, you will crave.

Then you will compromise. You will do things you never thought you’d do. You will start to let him yell at you. You will let him yell at you and tell you that you mean nothing, that you are nothing.

But you will look beyond the wild crimson of his eyes and back to the calm warm brown that nestles itself in your arms late at night. You will not see the monster. Then you will let him touch you harder. The kind of touch that feels like a push, because it is.

This will reach the back of your skull and ingrain itself there.

You will try to shake it off, you will try to shake it off, you will always try to shake it off.

Then you will go back to playing pretend. You will be unrecognizable.

He will heal you at a time when you so desperately need to heal yourself.

But he will be there, he will be there, he will be there.

He will come at you with such sweet veracity and you will have no choice but to let him in. You will have never let anyone in like this. Never let anyone into the dark, cavernous field of your pain. But he will be there, he will be there.

You will never meet anyone else who can switch from sultry calmness to eager, ripened rage so easily.

Everything else will fall away when you are with him. Everything else will take on a strange, distant quality as if muffled beyond recognition.
The room will always be completely filled with him.

He will work diligently to collect the dust of past lovers fingertips from your skin and he will wash it all away. There will be no remnants of anyone that came before him and you will not remember a time when your mouth tasted like anyone else.

One day after battling with yourself for so long, you will take too many pills and swig too many drinks. You will feel an instant pang of regret and you will reach for the phone to dial him because you will have convinced yourself that only he can save you.

And he will be there, he will be there, he will be there.

He will carry you out to the park and lay you down to bask in the sun, with his fingers laced tightly in yours, and he will tell you that you are beautiful. That you are brave, that you are strong, that you are the most exquisite thing he’s ever seen, ever touched, ever loved.

He will tell you he loves you in the brightest light of day, while the sun twinges behind him and you will always remember it. It will be the second time you hear those words and you will be so indescribably quenched of a thirst you never knew existed.

He will walk you home that night and tell you he loves you again. His words will be straight and militant. There is no lilt, there is a scary lack of hesitation. You will sleep so deeply in this delusion that you could never consider waking.

The next time you see him, you will heave the words back at him. You will tell him you love him and even as you are saying it, it will sound painful and unsteady. You both take it back soon. Then you will say it again.

You will feel so much uncertainty every time he walks away. You will ignore extreme nausea that gathers in your throat and settles alongside every inch of your body when he leaves the room. You will want to take it all in but there will be a part of you that knows he is not yours.
He is not yours, he is not yours.

The pretend will soon end and he will yell some more. He will yell at you with daggers in his voice, slicing at your limbs, slicing at your throat. He will tell you that you are nothing. He will tell you that he is in love. That she is perfect, that he could never love you.

That you are stupid for thinking he ever would. He will tell you that you are nothing. Then he will leave.

You will sit outside yourself and every inch of your flesh will flush. You will feel the embarrassment creeping up your legs and it will fix itself atop every square inch of your skin.

You will sob in heavy increments, you will sob in hollow sprints.
You will sob, you will sob, you will sob.
You will feel cheapened by every word that comes out of his mouth from now on. You will be cheapened by everything he does from now on.
You will vow to never let yourself feel this insignificant again.

Then you will, then you will, then you will again. You will want to blame him for being there when you were broken, for piecing you back together even though he used the wrong kind of glue.

For latching himself onto the dirty parts of you that you were always trying so hard to hide.

You will not stop looking for reasons that show you that he might’ve loved you at least once. Under the sheets of your creaky bed, or maybe in all the small stuffy spaces that you filled with heavy words that could’ve turned your skin to scars.

He will make you forget that there is actually a difference between fucking and loving, and you will soon not know how to distinguish the two. You will soon not even want to because love feels too foreign; love feels bitter on your lips no matter how many times you fling it over your teeth.
You will never meet anyone like him and you will silently hope for him to come back to you, fully. For him to come back to you in a way that he was never there before.

Because you will convince yourself that he saw all of you and never flinched. That he loved you like a raw nerve. That he held you through the gritty hurricane of it all. You will plead for him and you will plead to him and it will never be enough. You will keep apologizing for not being enough.

“I am the most beautiful doormat you have ever walked over.” ~ Clementine von Radics
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