this is how the movie would go:
the jaded young woman
and the charismatic sociopath
strike up a deal. they say,
“friends” just before their lips meet,
and she stays the night,
and he helps her find
her clothes in the morning.

this continues for a while,
until he starts absentmindedly holding her hand in the car,
or singing her favorite songs or something,
so they try to break it off,
but he comes back. he always comes back,
and they fall in love.
that’s the movie. the resolving rom-com,
“friends with benefits” gone right
the storyline lost women crave.

but this is us:
sitting on cvs parking blocks,
sipping jack in the box milkshakes,
kissing so you can taste my lip balm,
you squeezing my shoulder
every time i sigh.
we are: collapsing onto your comforter,
me reminding you of boundaries,
and you pushing them
pushing them,

this is us:
lego building, parking structure sightseeing,
i almost don’t come up to your room,
but i start to remember one of his stories
and quickly close the door behind us
just to shut out the memory
we are: kissing goodnight,
with your twitter feed open in your hand;
“get out of my room”,
forcing me into the hall.
i am: falling into my sheets,
finally too tired to think of his schedule,
and thankful for a distraction like you

this is us:
an emotional cover-up,
not romantic beyond the necessary,
laughing everything off
like raindrops, friends. roughly, friends
who roughly treat each other as such.
we will never fall in love
because i’m in love with someone else,
my vote has been cast but not for you
because you’re no one special
you’re just here. five doors down,
attractive and almost respectful.
sometimes i wonder if i am the same for you,
if you braid my hair the way she taught you,
if you hug me harder to hide that your ghosts are in this room
as much as he is in mine.

if i was your distraction too, i don’t think i would mind,
as long as we are not a movie,
no nicholas sparks novel,
feeling nothing except the physical,
because underneath this senseless flirting,
there is only one man i am still stuck on,
one combination of features i am still bent on forgetting,
and you are not him.
not even close. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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