It’s been so long. Seasons changed, people came and went, life moved around us. But part of me has stood still. Part of me has been frozen in time right where you left me.
Though I have thrived, traveled and felt endless joy there is a fragment of my shattered soul that hasn’t left this bedroom. The dressers have been repositioned in a futile attempt to extract your memories. And the bed is pushed in the corner in a spot we didn’t lay together: all a part of my desperate effort to cleanse this room of your presence. But as much cleaning and pushing and removing I do, a broken girl exists in this room.
Until now, I couldn’t see why my fragile heart sunk whenever I returned here, even years later. But now I see it: the torrential scene: a boy and a girl from the same roots, learned to love together. Pictures everywhere. Memories in every inch of the house.
The breakdown: short like a fuse, wild like a hurricane. Tears shed on both ends. You drove away with a weight lifted from your shoulders and she was left with all of that weight and more on her chest. You may have been damaged but you were quick to give it away. She used to tell you she wanted to take your pain, but she never realized that you would take that so literally.
But when you gave her your sorrow you didn’t expect that it would manifest the way it did. You had no idea that a girl who feels to the magnitude that she does would take it and let it marinate within her heart for years, letting it tear through her flesh and expose her wounds to frigid numbness.
But here I am. Frozen in that memory. Distraught at the thought of love ending so abruptly.
That look in your eyes. The sound of your voice saying my name in a pitch that didn’t need words to follow. I already knew.
You said you were too broken. You said we were too different. You said you couldn’t picture a future with me. And with those words, you killed me.
And that’s what they did.
And it isn’t until now that I understand your slander.
I said it when you first started looking at me with those honest eyes so many years ago; I am too much for you. I will be too much for you.
I am fire and you are the water that blackened my flame. I am a rainstorm of passion, an eruption of incessant music, a fountain of untapped, useless knowledge. That terrified you.
I am impulsive and like to get lost in the middle of the night. I like questioning the systems and wondering why and how humans turn into monsters.
I like running in the rain, knowing it’ll ruin my hair. I like dancing in puddles and singing until my voice is gone. I like laughing at inappropriate times and not taking anything seriously.
But I wasn’t spontaneous in the way you wanted me to be. I don’t like roller coasters because they give me headaches. And I don’t like sports because they bore me.
My freedom was different than yours. My recklessness stemmed from being mentally ravenous. I don’t risk my life but I will risk my sanity thinking about the injustices that exist in this world.
I never measured my intelligence by numbers. But numbers were all you had to measure your worth. Numbers make you proud, but they make me sick.
I was everything that went against your mundane look on life. I had thoughts that you couldn’t even fathom in your head. I had ideas that seemed too crazy to put in place. I wasn’t afraid to invent, to dream.
I didn’t think in patterns.
I am not logic. Logic goes against my purpose on this earth. But you were all that is logical. You clung to what made sense to you because it was small enough to understand. But I craved more than you could have ever imagined.
I was looking for the remarkable but I wanted to find it with you.
You couldn’t love me anymore because I am the light that brightened your dark and all you knew was that abyss that defeated you. The dark you knew well became my home. I engulfed myself in your self-pity and quickly became entranced with putting you back together. But in that, I slipped through the cracks.
You associated me with pain and you tried to suck the toxins out of your life.
You were my anecdote but I was your poison.
In the end it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. Sometimes I think back to that indescribable feeling you gave me: I guess you could call it love. But to me love isn’t a temporary thing. Love is a permanent fixture. Love is everlasting and pure. So maybe we lied to each other. Maybe it was never love.
I sit here in this childhood room, with cotton candy walls and photographs from my past and think about how tainted it all seems now. How a painful memory can ruin a decade for you. These old books and awards used to bring me joy, but they are merely a flicker of the feelings that stirred up when I met your gaze.
Different is a funny word. Different isn’t real: just a socially constructed concept, made to divide people. Different is the word people use when they are afraid of something they don’t know anything about.
You left me because you never understood me. You walked away from us because the way my wheels turn inside my head embarrassed you. You broke my heart because I refused to acknowledge intelligence by numbers. You were afraid of change. You were too afraid to think outside your small, brilliant mind.
So maybe we were too “different.” Maybe you ruined me. Maybe we’re better off without each other. And maybe I stole some of the best years of your life. But we weren’t too different to discover each other. We weren’t too different to laugh and enjoy the stars. We weren’t too different to love for a moment.
To you, we were too different to love in the real sense of the word. But the thing is darling, love knows know difference. And if that’s why you ultimately left, I guess it was never really love to begin with.